What a tragic situation, the precious little Sanaya who was abducted has been found in the creek nearby.Anyone who could do that needs to be locked up and the key thrown away!
Update : Taking an awful shift with investigators actions.Sadly this could become some else all together. I hope not
THE mother of 14-month-old Sanaya Sahib has confessed to the murder of her toddler after she was charged by homicide detectives earlier today.
5.01pm MOTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER
Post mortem reveals Sanaya Sahib was smothered
Sanaya Sahib death: Mother charged with murder of Melbourne toddler
A 22-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of 14-month-old Sanaya Sahib, whose body was found in a Melbourne creek early on Sunday morning.
She was charged with one count of murder and will face an out of sessions court hearing shortly.
The girl’s mother had earlier told investigators her daughter was snatched from her pram by a stranger as they were walking in Olympic Park at Heidelberg West on Saturday morning.
An emotional vigil was held for Sanaya on Monday night and her family, including her grandmother, attended a football match in which a minute’s silence was held in memory of the toddler.
Police said on Monday a post-mortem examination would be carried out on the toddler’s body, but no details of the results were released.
Sanaya was found in Darebin Creek at Heidelberg West in the early hours of Sunday.
Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton tweeted his thanks to officers “for their hard work” on the case.
More to come.
IT HAS been revealed that an ambulance was called a week before the murder of toddler Sanaya Sahib because the little girl had suffered a seizure.
Sanaya’s body was found in a creek early Sunday hours after her mother Sofina Nikat claims a shoeless African man smelling of alcohol abducted her 15-month-old daughter while she was walking with her in Melbourne’s Olympic Park on Saturday afternoon.
A post mortem is expected to show she died of smothering, however police media said the results have not been finalised.
Meanwhile, her uncle Habib Ali has told the Herald Sun an ambulance was called to his Heidelberg West home, where the mother and daughter had been staying, a week before her murder because Sanaya suffered a seizure.
Mr Ali dismissed the episode as “nothing really”, but paramedics were worried the seizure had been triggered through a lack of oxygen via smothering, the Herald Sun reported.
Police have not commented on what — if anything — was captured on CCTV cameras located have near the park where the abduction took place.
No independent witnesses have come forward to confirm the 22-year-old mother’s account. She is being kept in an undisclosed location and hasn’t yet been interviewed by homicide squad detectives.
She is said to be “hysterical”.
Ms Nikat gave chase after the alleged abductor but then returned home with the stroller.
Mr Ali told media outside his home Sanaya “didn’t deserve” what happened to her. She’s such a cute little kid … I don’t know why this happened. Whoever done it, shame on him, he is a coward.”
Ms Nikat and Sanaya had been living with Mr Ali after she split with Sameer Sahib, Sanaya’s father.
He said Ms Nikat was shocked and “crying a lot”.
“She doesn’t know what to do or what’s going on, obviously.” He said the family still did not know what had happened to Sanaya or how she died.
He said the family had a lot of sympathy for Mr Sahib, who is struggling to understand what has happened.
Fairfax reported on Tuesday two men that Sanaya had contact with in recent days were facing serious criminal charges, including family violence and assault.
Victoria Police have not commented officially on the inquiry for almost 24 hours, other than to confirm no arrests had been made. But according to The Age, detectives were expected to investigate the links the men had to the slain toddler.
The tributes for Sanaya continued last night with soccer players from Heidelberg United Football Club last night observing a minute’s silence for Sanaya before their match against Port Melbourne.
Dozens of people have also left flowers and cards for the toddler near the creek where her body was found.
One crying woman said she didn’t know the family bit couldn’t believe something so tragic could happen in their community.
“RIP sweetheart. So very sorry for your family, our heart breaks with them,” read one of the many cards left alongside a soft pink toy.
—additional reporting: AAP
Update 10am 11/04/16
Police make desperate appeal for information about toddler Sanaya Sahib’s death
Police have made a desperate appeal for information as they hunt for the person responsible for the death of Melbourne toddler Sanaya Sahib.
The 15-month-old girl’s body was found in Darebin Creek, Heidelberg West, in the early hours of Sunday.
Sanaya’s mother, Sofina Nikat, 22, said her daughter was snatched by a stranger from her pram.
Police have searched a home in Heidelberg West where Ms Nikat had been staying.
On Sunday afternoon, police were seen searching through bins and leaving with forensics bags.
It is understood Ms Nikat is helping police with their inquiries.
Police said the only suspect is the attacker, described as a barefoot man with dark skin between the ages of 20 and 30.
He was wearing black pants and a black zipper top, and smelled heavily of alcohol, police said.
Detectives are investigating all possibilities and will today doorknock streets in Melbourne’s north-east.
The body was found just before 3:00am Sunday by a local family who had once lost a child and wanted to assist.
Heidelberg West residents left a floral tribute near the scene, which is less than a kilometre away from the Northland shopping centre.
The Mayor of the City of Banyule, Craig Langdon, said the community was grieving.
“I know the area well enough to know the area will be grieving greatly because it’s a very close community,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the family. It would be a tragic loss to any family, to find a child like that in the Darebin Creek, I can not imagine the grief they’re going through.”
Mr Langdon said counselling would be made available through the council to anyone who needs it.
No charges have been laid over Sanaya’s death.
A post-mortem examination will be carried out on the body.
Any witnesses have been urged to contact Crime Stoppers.
From other news sites:
- The Age: Search for a killer: body of toddler Sanaya Shaib found in Darebin Creek
- News.com.au: Body found in search for toddler missing from Olympic Park, Heidelberg West
- SBS: Melbourne toddler found dead in creek after park kidnapping
- Yahoo!7 News: Toddler ‘snatched’ from mother in Melbourne park found dead in creek
- Sky News: Body found in search for missing toddler
Body found in search for toddler missing from Olympic Park, Heidelberg West
THE GRIEVING mum of toddler Sanaya Shaib has left her home as investigators continue to hunt for the 15-month-old’s killer.
The police forensics team are now searching a home address of the mother of the dead toddler. They have been joined by members of the homicide division. Forensics Police said they were expected to stay at the house for several hours.
Local residents paid tribute to the 15-month-old with flowers and teddy bears near where her body was found.
Forensic police have started their search of the house by checking discarded rubbish near the property and in the back garden.
Homicide Squad detectives were investigating after the discovery of the body at Heidelberg West this morning. The body was found in the Darebin Creek by four people searching together, about 2.45am.
Earlier police said the only suspect in the toddler’s death is described to be a man of African appearance, between the ages of 20 and 30, six-feet-tall, wearing black pants, a black hooded zipper top, no shoes and smelling heavily of liquor.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said parents in the area should be alert and mindful of what they do.
“This is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction,” he said.
“We think it’s completely random at this point in time.
“We need to be careful and alert, given what’s taken place at this present time.”
The warning comes after the body of a child, believed to be that of Sanaya, was found in a creek in Melbourne’s north-east at 2:45am this morning.
The body was found by a family of four, including a child, who were searching for the girl after seeing a Facebook post requesting help from volunteers.
The family, who had also lost a child in the past whom they later found alive and well, found the toddler partially submerged as they were walking along the western side of Darebin Creek. The child will be taken back to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine for a postmortem today.
Sanaya was abducted from her pram in Olympic Park yesterday. Senior Sergeant Bailey said the toddler’s mother, Sofina Nikat, noticed the suspect walking towards her around 10:10am.
“That male has then folded behind her and has then pushed her to the ground, taken the child from the pram and run in a south-westerly direction on the eastern side of Darebin Creek, and crossed over a footbridge that takes you to the Northland Shopping Centre area and then pershaps towards Wood St,” he said.
“Once the child has been abducted, she (the mother) has chased the offender for a short period of time, realised she wasn’t making any ground there, so she has returned back to her home with the stroller and notified authorities there.
“We notified both the mother and father at 6:45am this morning (that the body had been found) and they are obviously in an extremely distressed state.”
Police don’t know how long the body had been in the creek.
Crews armed with torches scoured Darebin Creek in Heidelberg West until late last night. Ms Nikat was assisting police, but they stressed she was not being held in custody.
Inspector Paul Tymms urged anyone who knew the location of the child to come forward. He said authorities were hopeful Sanaya was still alive.
Ms Nikat’s older brother, Habib Ali, said the family had been supporting the young mother after she recently separated from her partner. He said his sister had taken an unsettled Sanaya out for a walk but returned home soon after with dirt on her clothing.
Mr Ali said: “She came screaming and crying, she said, ‘Somebody’s snatched my baby’. She was mumbling out of control.
“I just pray to God that whoever’s done this, please return the baby.”
The mother’s family claimed her daughter had been snatched from her pram at a popular park in Melbourne’s northeast.
Inspector Paul Tymms confirmed on Saturday evening that the disappearance was being treated as suspicious.
Sanaya’s uncle Habib Ali told the Herald Sun his sister had been hysterical when she arrived home from a walk without the baby.
“I’m devastated,” Mr Aly said. “This is shocking … why would anyone want to hurt this little girl?
“We just don’t know what to do.”
Sanaya and her mother were visiting Mr Aly’s Heidelberg West home for the day, he said.
He said his sister told family that as they sat down on a park bench she noticed a man watching her.
“She said someone was standing and watching her … but she didn’t make anything of it,” Mr Aly said.
The man then undid the clips in the toddler’s pram, picked up the girl and ran away toward Northland shopping centre, Mr Ali said he’d been told.
Next-door neighbour Melynda Smith said the family were quiet and she had not heard any disturbances.
“We’re just terrified,” Ms Smith said.
“We are shaken up over the situation.
“You hear it in other states, you hear it in other countries … you don’t expect it to happen in your own backyard.”
She said the family was close and had hosted Sanaya’s first birthday party at Mr Aly’s Perth St home.
“They support each other,” Ms Smith said.
“I always see the mother out walking with her, getting fresh air … they are always spending time with the bub and the bub is never out of the mum’s sight.
“She is a very well cared for and looked after little girl.”
Mr Aly said he and his family had been supporting his sister through her separation from her partner, who lived in Hallam.
He said his sister and Sanaya had been staying in Mitcham but visited his home regularly.
The toddler was last seen wearing a short-sleeved white top with pink and yellow hearts, koala print pants, socks, and a black necklace with an oval locket.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Originally published as Hunt continues for tragic tot’s killer
A toddler who was found dead in a creek in Melbourne’s north-east this morning was snatched from a pram while walking with her mother in a park yesterday, homicide detectives say.
Police said 15-month-old girl Sanaya Sahib, who had been missing since yesterday morning, was found in Darebin Creek in Heidelberg West by four people searching together just before 3:00am.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said the toddler was with her 22-year-old mother, Sofina Nikat from Mitcham, at Olympic Park about 10:00am, when the little girl was grabbed and taken.
“[Ms Nikat] noticed a male walking towards her, that male has folded in behind her and has then pushed her to the ground, has taken the child from the pram and run in a south-westerly direction on the eastern side of Darebin Creek,” he said.
“He crossed over a footbridge that then takes you into the Northland Shopping Centre area and perhaps towards Woods Street.
“This is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said police believed it was a random attack.
The man has been described as between 20 and 30 years of age, about six feet tall with short dark hair and not wearing shoes.
Police said he was wearing black pants and a black zipper top.
They said he had dark skin and smelt heavily of alcohol.
Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said Ms Nikat had tried to chase the man, but was unable to and returned to her friend’s home and contacted police.
He said authorities had worked hard to find the girl when she was reported missing, but she was found in the early hours by a local family who had once lost a child and wanted to assist.
Police said clothing on the body found in the creek matched that reported on the missing toddler.
Heidelberg West residents Michelle and Faye left a floral tribute near the scene and said they knew of the family.
“I just wanted to put flowers for the baby,” Michelle said.
“I couldn’t sleep knowing she was out here somewhere.
“I was hoping she was alive.”
Anyone who saw the incident has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers.
From other news sites:
- News.com.au: Body found in search for toddler missing from Olympic Park, Heidelberg West
- Yahoo!7 News: Child’s body found in Melbourne creek believed to be toddler ‘snatched’ from pram
- SBS: Child’s body found in Melbourne creek
- Sky News: Body found in search for missing toddler
Vic kidnapped girl’s body found in creek | SBS News
A toddler who was snatched from her pram in a Melbourne park has been found dead in a nearby creek.
Police say 15-month-old Sanaya Sahib was with her mother at Olympic Park in Heidelberg West about 10am on Saturday when she was grabbed by a man who smelt strongly of alcohol and was not wearing shoes.
Sofina Nikat, 22, told officers she was pushed to the ground by the man, who ran off with her daughter towards a nearby shopping centre.
Ms Nikat gave chase but when she realised she couldn’t catch him, she raced home to alert police.
She never saw the face of the man, who is described as being of African appearance, between 20 and 30 years old and about six feet tall.
The toddler’s body was found in Darebin Creek just before 3am on Sunday by a family of four who had seen social media posts about her disappearance and wanted to help.
The family, who had once lost a child who had later been found, spent the night looking for little Sanaya.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said it wasn’t known how long the body had been in the water.
“It is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction,” he told reporters at the scene on Sunday.
“We need to be careful, alert, given what’s taken place at this present time, but we’ll wait and see how the investigation unfolds.”
He appealed for anyone who saw the incident, the child or her blue and yellow pram to come forward.
It’s believed Sanaya and her mother, from Mitcham, were staying with friends in Heidelberg West near the former 1956 Olympic Village following a separation from the tot’s father.
A large orange tarpaulin was erected on Sunday morning around a part of the creek where the girl’s body was found.
An air ambulance hovered above as police, positioned at the southern end of Northland shopping centre, diverted traffic, cyclists and pedestrians from the area.
Sanaya’s tiny body, on a large stretcher, was later taken away by forensic police.
Both parents have been helping police and are said to be extremely distressed.
The tot is yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination will be carried out later on Sunday.