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Detectives have launched a manhunt following the murder of a 19-year-old woman in student accommodation in central London.
Police are asking for help finding 22-year-old Maher Maaroufe, who they believe was involved with her wife.
She is known to travel and has ties all over London and also travels to Cambridgeshire.
Officers were called around 5:10 a.m. Saturday, with reports of a woman injured at Arbor House, student accommodation on Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell.
London Ambulance Service and officers attended and found the woman, believed to be a psychology student at the City, University of London, who had suffered serious neck injuries.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The woman is understood to have been a first-year foreign student of Middle Eastern origin, according to Sky News.
Officers said that anyone who sees Mr. Maaroufe should not approach him but should call 999 immediately.
The 19-year-old woman is believed to have been killed on the fifth floor of a block of flats owned by Unite Students.
Her neighbor Leona Sigmud, 20, described her as “just a normal student” who “kept to herself”.
The music student said: ‘She was a normal student, there was nothing special about her. I saw her in the halls, but I never actually spoke to her.
The Metropolitan Police said they were called to reports of a woman injured at Unite student accommodation on Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell, on Saturday.
‘Of course she was nice and never rude. I didn’t know her personally. I don’t think she was British. When I heard that someone had been killed, I didn’t believe it at first. I thought it was gossip. We are all quite shocked. This doesn’t happen every day.
Neighbor Arsh Srivastara, 21, who is a business student, said
Neighbor Arsh Srivastara, 21, who is a business student, said: ‘Around 5:45 a.m. I heard a voice that sounded like that of a grown man.
‘I heard the fire alarm go off and heard someone run out of an exit on the ground floor near where I live. I thought he was the suspect.
‘After that, the police showed up about half an hour later. They have been investigating ever since. I heard them talking about someone trying to escape through the hallway door.
Flowers were left at the scene near student residences after a student was found dead.
I didn’t know anything about her until today. She lived on the sixth floor.
“Urgent investigations are underway to locate Maaroufe and I urge you to go to a police station immediately. Anyone with information that could help the police should do the right thing and please call us now.”
Speaking at Islington Police Station, Chief Inspector Adam Instone said: “Arbor House is student accommodation and I know there will be great sadness and deep concern among the local population and the student community.”
“I share that sadness and concern and can assure you that a thorough homicide investigation is underway, led by skilled and experienced detectives who will work tirelessly to identify and arrest those responsible.
“Tackling violent crime is the Met’s top priority. Police officers, including forensic specialists, remain at the scene. Local people will also see additional police in the area.
“If you have any concerns about safety in and around the Clerkenwell area, please speak to those officers.”
A Unite Students spokesperson said: “As this remains an ongoing police incident, we are unable to comment on their investigation.”
‘Our priority at this time is the safety and well-being of the Arbor House students. We are working closely with the police and the City, University of London.
A City, University of London spokesperson said: “As a university, we will do everything we can to support our students and staff and will continue to fully support the police with their investigation.” We are working closely with Unite Students who own and operate Arbor House.’
Fast Quick and Facts
- Police launch murder probe after woman, 19, was found dead in student housing
- She is believed to have been a first-year foreign student of Middle Eastern background
- Officers called to reports of injury on Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell on Saturday
- Police are appealing for help to find Maher Maaroufe, 22, who they believe had been in a relationship with the woman
- The force said no arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing