A 10-year-old girl found dead inside a house in Woking has been described as a “beautiful” and “amazing” daughter by her devastated mother.
Detectives in Surrey launched a murder investigation in the early hours of Thursday morning after discovering the body of Sara Sharif, who was alone when police arrived at the property.
Police have said they want to speak to three people who were known to the girl but who are believed to have left the country.
Sara’s mother Olga Sharif confirmed her identity in an interview with The Sun, telling the newspaper she learned of her daughter’s death through a phone call by officers.
“My life will never be the same again. Sara should be with me right now. She was too young. Sara was an amazing child,” she said.
Polish-born Mrs Sharif said she was only allowed to see her daughter and son, Sara’s 13-year-old brother, twice in four years after losing a custody battle against her ex-husband and the children’s father in 2019.
Sara’s father has been named locally as Ufran Sharif, a taxi driver, who lived at the property with his wife and six children.
Mrs Sharif said she bonded with her Sara over a shared love of arts and crafts and said she was a fan of Disney’s Frozen films.
She told The Sun her popular and outgoing daughter had dreamed of a modelling career.
“She would walk in and say, ‘Mum, look how pretty I look’. It was always modelling – she was so pretty that I never had to ask her to pose for a picture because every time she looked at the camera she was already smiling and beautiful.
“She would tell me that ‘I want to be like Mummy’. She was like a younger version of me – but much prettier than her mum.”
Mrs Sharif said she planned to bury her daughter in her native Poland, where she has been intending to move back to, once the authorities have completed their investigations.
A post-mortem investigation to establish the cause of death is likely to take place on Tuesday afternoon.
No one present
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “Enquiries are ongoing to locate the three identified people we would like to speak to in connection with our investigation into the death of a 10-year-old girl in Woking.
“Detectives have confirmed that no other people were present at the address when they attended in the early hours of Aug 10. The three people they would like to speak to were known to the victim.
“Formal identification is yet to take place but we understand the child has been named locally. No arrests have been made at this time. Officers remain at the address whilst the investigation continues and further updates will be provided in due course.
Detectives said they believed the three people they want to speak with left the UK the day before the body was discovered.
Police were called to the smart semi-detached house in the village of Horsell, near Woking, at 2.50am on Thursday following a concern for welfare.
Following the discovery, police stressed they did not believe there was a wider threat to the public.