Boyfriend in court on murder charge after woman's body found in suitcase

·2-min read

The boyfriend of a woman whose body was found in a suitcase earlier this month has appeared in court accused of her murder.

Hina Bashir was reported missing from Ilford, east London, on 14 July, having last been seen alive on 11 July.

On 17 July, the 21-year-old's decomposing body was found in a foetal position inside a large suitcase dumped in a small ditch in Folkes Lane, Upminster, east London.

Police officers using a sniffer dog made the discovery after following tracks on a grassy verge consistent with suitcase wheels.

The student's worried father in Pakistan had contacted her employer at Queen Mary University in London where she worked part-time for a security company.

Ms Bashir had not turned up for work and her employer raised the alarm after visiting her home.

A post-mortem has yet to make a preliminary finding on the cause of Ms Bashir's death.

Ms Bashir was a Pakistani national who had come to live in the UK in November last year.

She had travelled on a student visa to study business management at Coventry University London.

She had been in a relationship with Muhammad Arslan, 26, who came from the same village in Pakistan and had moved to Britain around six months ago.

On 18 July, Arslan, who lived in a multi-occupancy property in Natal Road, Ilford, was charged with the murder of Ms Bashir between 10 and 13 July.

He appeared for a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey by video link from Thameside prison on Wednesday.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt, the defendant spoke only to confirm his identity and was represented in court by a solicitor.

Judge Mark Dennis QC remanded the defendant into custody.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard has issued an appeal for more information.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams said: "My thoughts are with Hina's family who have suffered a terrible loss. We will provide them with whatever support we can.

"We are continuing our work to develop a full understanding of what happened to Hina, not just in recent days but in the weeks prior to this terrible incident.

"I know that Hina hadn't been in the UK for too long.

"I would urge anyone who may have known her to come forward. Any information that you hold could be important to the investigation."

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the reference 2674/14JUL - or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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