A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Sabita Thanwani

A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of 19-year-old student Sabita Thanwani, who was found dead on Saturday.

The family of a 19-year-old woman found dead at her student accommodation in London have paid tribute to their “beautiful, irreplaceable angel” after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Sabita Thanwani – who was studying psychology at City, University of London – was found with neck injuries at her halls of residence in Clerkenwell on Saturday morning. Police and medics were called to the accommodation on Sebastian Street shortly after 5am, but she was later pronounced dead at the scene.

22-year-old Maher Maaroufe – who was in a relationship with Thanwani but was not a student – has since been arrested on suspicion of murder and assault and remains in police custody.  

Although Thanwani’s body is yet to be formally identified – the Metropolitan police said this morning that a post mortem and formal identification will take place soon – her family is being supported by specialist officers and has issued a statement paying tribute to the 19-year-old.

In the statement, which was released through the Metropolitan police, the family describe Thanwani as a “caring and loving person” who has been “ripped away” from her loved ones.

“In her short life, she helped so many,” the statement read. “Sabita was pure and did not see bad in anyone, because there was no badness in her own awesome heart. We will never ever stop loving or missing our beautiful, irreplaceable Sabita. The girl that was an angel upon the earth is now an angel in heaven.” 

It continued: “We can only pray that lessons will be learnt and that somehow, there will come a day when girls and women are safe. We will never be able to thank the Metropolitan police enough for their dedication and tireless work in finding justice for our Sabita. From our hearts, we thank everyone for their love and support.”

Following Maaroufe’s arrest, Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, who is leading the investigation, said: “I would like to thank everyone for publicising and sharing our appeal to trace Maaroufe.

“Sabita’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers. Our deepest condolences are with them. I would ask everyone to respect their privacy at this indescribably devastating time for them as they come to terms with Sabita’s murder.” 

Image: Metropolitan police

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