29-year-old man arrested over death of Zara Aleena in Ilford

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A man has been arrested for the death of a woman in Ilford.

Zara Aleena, 35, was viciously attacked by what the Scotland Yard described as "an attack by a stranger."

According to investigators, Zara was walking along Cranbrook Road towards grants Hill Tube station around 2.44am on Sunday when the stranger attacked her.

Police have established that Zara's attacker is unknown to her, and no weapon was used.

The victim was found by paramedics with head injuries, and despite efforts, she died later that morning at the hospital.

On Monday, June 27, police arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of the murder of Zara.

The police crime scene remained at the junction of Cranbrook Road and Beehive Lane, near Valentines Mansion.

Zara Aleena
Zara Aleena

Speaking on the issue, the Senior Officer responsible for policing in the East Area BCU, Ch Supt Stuart Bell, said,

"We are keeping Zara's family up to date with our progress, and my heartfelt condolences are with them at this terrible time.

"They are being supported by specialist officers – but I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling."

Ch Supt Bell explained: "It is now believed that she [Zara] was the victim of an attack by a stranger.
"Her family are aware of this, and as the investigation progresses, they will continue to be updated and supported.

"A special post-mortem has been completed. Zara suffered multiple serious injuries that contributed to her death.

"There is no evidence at this time that weapons were used during the attack.

"A full forensic examination of the scene and the surrounding area, house-to-house enquiries and a focus on identifying all available CCTV have been taking place since yesterday, and local people will continue to see a significant police presence over the coming days and weeks."

As the investigation continues, detectives are appealing for anyone with useful information and the people of Ilford to come forward.

Police want to hear from anyone who was around the Cranbrook Road area between 2am and 3am on Sunday morning.

According to Ch Supt Bell, it is "an absolute priority" for him to tackle violence against women and girls.

"Our priorities are to ensure the safety of the local community and to engage locally with residents and people affected," he said

"We will be working closely with partners and locally elected representatives to do all we can to make people in this area feel safe and tackle offenders who harm people and cause alarm in our community.

"We know people are concerned, and we are determined to make our public spaces safer in this area.

"My genuine thanks go to everyone in the community for their patience and resilience. Our neighbourhood officers will be making themselves available over the coming days to speak to the community and people affected locally.

"Every resource is being dedicated to locating whoever is responsible, and with every hour, the investigation is gathering pace.

"Tackling violence against women and girls is an absolute priority for the Met. Every day our officers are working with partners across the capital to improve safety in our public spaces.

"Women should not have to change their behaviour and should be able to go about their business, feeling safe, any time of day or night. It's our job to ensure that happens – but officers cannot be in all places at all times.

"I would urge our community, especially women, to report any suspicious or unwanted behaviour and seek help if you feel threatened."

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "I'm heartbroken by the murder of Zara Aleena who had her whole life ahead of her.

"My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and the whole community who are devastated by her death.

"I am in regular contact with the police who have been working around the clock and a man is now in custody on suspicion of murder. There will continue to be a large police presence in the area over the coming days.

"Understandably, women living in the area and across London will be feeling distressed and fearful after this awful attack and the death of another woman at the hands of a man."

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