Police in Pakistan reportedly received a request to search for the family of Sara Sharif five days after she was found dead in the United Kingdom.
An Interpol request to look for her father, Urfan Sharif, his partner, Beinash Batool and his brother Faisal Malik was reportedly received in Pakistan on August 15. Urfan Sharif is said to have reported the 10-year-old’s death to Surrey Police on August 10.
Police in the UK launched a murder investigation after Sara was found dead in Woking. Now, according to the BBC, her family members were reportedly staying with relatives in Pakistan until around August 13.
After then, it is not known where the trio went. It is thought their last known location was a small hamlet near Domeli in central Punjab.
The broadcaster says police believe the family arrived at Mr Sharif’s sister and brother-in-law’s home on August 12 and left the following day. The brother-in-law has reportedly been taken by police.
Speaking to the BBC, the brother-in-law’s uncle, Ameer Afzal, said: “Urfan Sharif visited us. I didn’t meet him personally, but my family told me in the morning that he visited with his family at night.
“We are very worried about why the police took my nephew. If there is any issue with the Urfan’s family, we have nothing to do with that.”
It is now understood police believe the three family members landed at Islamabad airport on August 10. It was from there Mr Sharif is said to have made the 999 call that led police to Sara’s body.
An inquest into Sara’s death heard she is thought to have died from “multiple and extensive injuries”. It is believed these would have been caused over and extended period of time.
Police in Pakistan believe Mr Sharif, Ms Batool and Mr Malik were picked up at Islamabad and driven over 81 miles to Jhelum. It is thought they spent almost two days at the family home before leaving on August 12.
Syed Khurram Ali, from the Punjab police, tells the BBC: “His brother-in-law said that they were leaving the house at 5am and I asked them you came at 12 in the night now you are leaving so quickly?
“They said we have some important thing to do, but didn’t explain what. When we asked the family what was the reason for the visit, they say it is just a routine visit.”
Mr Ali told the BB, Punjab police were not told to start searching for the three people until August 15. He said they received a request from Interpol through Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency or FIA.
The broadcaster says Surrey Police said it had been liaising with international partners since August 10 – but did not give a reason for the delayed search. While police in Pakistan said the search party was put together on August 16.
It is thought police in Pakistan now have two dedicated search squads. They regularly search locations in Jhelum, Sialkot and Mansehra.