An Indian-origin British student was found murdered in her London flat on Saturday afternoon. Sabita Thanwani, a 19-year-old British national, was found dead with serious neck injuries at Arbour House student flats in London's Clerkenwell district, the Metropolitan Police said.
Metropolitan Police since were looking for the suspect and arrested a 22-year-old Tunisian man Maher Maaroufe on Sunday afternoon. The man is said to have been in a relationship with Thanwani. It is not known what went wrong that led Maaroufe to murder Thanwani. Police have launched an investigation is is yet to share further information on the gruesome murder.
The Metropolitan Police on Sunday arrested Maaroufe from around the same area of Clerkenwell where the victim's body was discovered a day before. "I would like to thank everyone for publicising and sharing our appeal to trace Maaroufe," said Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, from the Met Police Specialist Crime unit who is leading the investigation.
"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," she said.
The Met Police had previously stated that, while formal identification was still awaited, Thanwani's family had been notified in advance of a special post-mortem examination, which would be scheduled in due course.
Police believe that Thanwani and Maaroufe were in a relationship which went sour, following which she was murdered. "Maaroufe had been in a relationship with Sabita but he was not a student. He is a Tunisian national of no fixed address," said Detective Bradley, as part of a public appeal in the case.
Police said that Thanwani was tragically killed and it was difficult to identify her. Officers were dispatched to Arbour House in Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell, at 5.10 am on Saturday after receiving information that Thanwani had been hurt.
They arrived with medics to discover she had sustained major neck injuries, but she was pronounced dead at the site despite their efforts. Later, on Saturday, the force launched an appeal to locate Maaroufe. A day alter, he was arrested.
Thanwani was studying at City, University of London, and was reportedly with Maaroufe on Friday. The university to has come forward to help in the investigation. "As this remains an ongoing police incident, we are unable to comment on their investigation," said a spokesperson for Unite Students, which operates the Arbour House student accommodation.
"Our priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of students at Arbour House. We are working closely with the police and City, University of London," the spokesperson said.
Maaroufe is now being questioned by detective, who believe he was the one who murdered Thanwani after a fight between them.