A five-year-old girl found dead with her mother and sister at their home in east London had been strangled. Her sister died from a head injury, post-mortem examinations have found.
Juli Begum, 26, and her daughters Anika Khanum and six-year-old Thanha Khanumwere discovered in bed together in their nightclothes. It has not yet been established how Ms Begum died.
The family, from Newham, had not been seen for 10 days when Ms Begum's sister alerted police.
Scotland Yard has opened a triple murder inquiry and has appealed to the Bangladeshi community for help. A senior officer said: "The mother and the girls were all lying on the bed with a duvet over them, wrapped in each other's arms. They looked for all the world as if they had fallen asleep together."
Yesterday, parents collecting their children from Nelson Primary School, where the two children were pupils, said they had been missing from class for days. "I knew Juli because she would bring her children to school and collect them," one mother said. " She was a good mother - a very active mother who looked after her children and did not work. Sometimes she would chat but, on occasion, she would be very quiet. It was known that her husband did not live with her but would visit."
Shenaz Choudry, whose four-year-old daughter Faiza goes to the school, said all the parents were "upset and very shocked".
One neighbour in who did not want to be named, said Ms Begum, whose family comes from Sylhet in Bangladesh, had grown up in Poplar, east London, and had moved to Newham shortly after the birth of her second child. She added Ms Begum and her husband had separated a year ago.
Rashider Laher, a neighbour, said: "She seemed like a lovely mum - and her girls were beautiful. When the father was around you would see them out as a family but we haven't seen him for a while. I think he went to see relatives in Bangladesh." Another neighbour suggested her husband had remarried in Bangladesh.
Police found the bodies on Wednesday morning. There was no sign of forced entry at the house. They are appealing for anyone from the Bangladeshi community who has any information to contact them. They are also hoping to trace Ms Begum's husband to inform him of the deaths.Reuse content