A man captured on CCTV near where primary school teacher Sabina Nessa was killed is being urgently sought by police.
On Friday, her sister said the family was “shocked” by Ms Nessa’s brutal murder saying there were “no words” to describe how they are feeling.
In a statement released to the PA news agency ahead of a community rally at the East London Mosque, Jebina Yasmin Islam said: “We as a family are shocked of the murder of our sister, daughter and aunty to my girls.
“There are no words to describe how we are feeling as a family at the moment. We did not expect that something like this would ever happen to us.
“I urge everyone to walk on busy streets when walking home from work, school or friend’s homes. Please keep safe.
“I ask you to pray for our sister and make dua (supplication) for her. May Allah grant her paradise.”
The Metropolitan Police have issued footage and images of the man they wish to speak to, which shows him walking in Pegler Square in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on the evening the 28-year-old was attacked.
A 12-second clip shows a balding man wearing a black hooded coat and grey jeans, holding an orange object, looking over his shoulder and pulling at his hood as he walks down a path.
Detectives have also released an image, captured in the same area, of a silver car they believe the man has access to and appealed for anyone who recognised either to contact the force immediately.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe urged anyone who may know the man to contact them, as she gave an update into the investigation.
Speaking outside the force’s New Scotland Yard headquarters on Friday, she said: “Anybody out there who may know who he is, or if you’ve seen that footage, and you have any information, no matter how small, please do get in touch.
“This is an incredibly shocking and tragic incident. We’re working incredibly hard to secure justice for Sabina’s family who are at the forefront of our mind at the moment.”
Detective chief inspector Neil John, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said “an extensive trawl” of CCTV in the area continued and said information on the man’s identity and whereabouts could be “vital” to the investigation.
Ms Nessa was walking to meet a friend at The Depot bar in Pegler Square near her home at around 8.30pm last Friday, a journey that should have taken just five minutes, when she was attacked.
A member of the public found her body close to the OneSpace community centre in Cator Park on Saturday at around 5.30pm.
According to reports, she was attacked with a weapon and her body was found hidden under a pile of leaves.
Ms Nessa’s cousin Zubel Ahmed remembered her as a “beautiful soul” who loved teaching, telling the BBC that she “was the most caring person – kindest, sweetest girl you could meet”.
Lisa Williams, the head of Rushey Green Primary School where Ms Nessa taught, said her colleagues and pupils are “taking our time to reflect and process the devastating news” of her death and will be remembering the teacher privately.
In a statement, Mrs Williams said: “We have shared the details about the vigil with our school community and some people may be attending on a personal level to privately pay their respects.
“As a school we are taking our time to reflect and process the devastating news we received this week, and will be commemorating Sabina in our own way.”
Her death comes after the public outrage and protests over the abduction and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard as she walked home alone in south London in March.
A vigil is being held on Friday evening at 7pm at Pegler Square for Ms Nessa and people who cannot attend are being encouraged to hold a candle at their doorstep at the same time.
Reclaim These Streets, a campaign group involved in organising the vigil for Ms Nessa, said it is “angry and heartbroken” about her murder.
Tower Hamlets councillor Rabina Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme said she would attend the vigil on Friday evening and hoped high profile people would also attend.
“I too, just like my daughters, I have a 25-year-old, I have a 21-year-old, we spoke up for Sarah Everard,” she said.
“When we saw high profile people who attended (Ms Everard’s vigil), I was really pleased and proud that the Duchess of Cambridge attended the vigil of Sarah Everard and I hope, tonight, we see many profiled people attending Sabina Nessa’s vigil.”
The Metropolitan Police said a 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of Ms Nessa’s murder.
The suspect was arrested at an address in Lewisham on Thursday and is being questioned in custody.
It is the second arrest Scotland Yard has made in connection with the attack.
On Saturday, detectives arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of murder before he was released under further investigation.
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