Essex fire family murder
A mother and her five children died after someone deliberately started a fire at their family home in Barn Mead, Harlow, Essex.
In the early hours of the 15 October 2012, Dr Abdul Shakoor, his wife Dr Sabah Usmani and their five children, aged between three and twelve, were upstairs in bed at the family home in Barn Mead, Harlow, Essex.
Dr Shakoor and his wife were awoken by a loud bang and immediately realised the house was full of smoke. Dr Shakoor managed to escape from an upstairs window. He tried to get help for his family. He called '999' and attempted to get back inside the house but was forced back by smoke fumes.
Tragically his wife and three of their children, nine-year-old Muneeb, six-year-old Rayyan and 12-year-old daughter Hira, died at the scene. Another son, 11-year old Sohaib, died shortly after being taken to hospital. Dr Shakoor was treated for the effects of the smoke and sadly his three-year old daughter Maheen, died in hospital three days later.
Police believe the family home had been burgled on the same night before the fire started. They have since recovered a laptop bag which belonged to Dr Shakoor that is believed to have been stolen from the house.
It is a black, Hewlett Packard bag. Also in the bag was a computer charger. This charger is unusual because it was purchased abroad and the plug has only two pins. Police think that someone has tried to adapt the plug with a shaving adaptor in an attempt to use it. The laptop, a Black Toshiba Satellite model is still missing and needs to be traced.
At around the same time as the house fire, a car belonging to a neighbour was found to be on fire. The car was parked just across the road, about 20 yards from the Shakoor home. Police need to speak to anyone who has any information about how that car came to be on fire.
• Police have recovered a black Hewlett Packard laptop bag containing family photographs.
The laptop charger was with it. It is distinctive because it was bought abroad and the plug has two pins. The laptop – a black Toshiba Satellite model – is still missing. Police need to trace it and need anybody who may have seen these items to come forward.
• A silver Ford Focus car belonging to a neighbour was on fire around the same time as the fire started at the house. The car was parked 20 yards from the Shakoor family home. Police need to speak to anyone who has information about how that car came to be on fire.
• Police urgently need to trace an individual seen on a bicycle in the area of Barn Mead around the time that the fire service was in attendance at both fires.
The cyclist is described as a white male, possibly in his early 20s wearing a hooded top. He was also seen riding down a lane near to the Shakoor family home. Anybody who thinks they know who it was should come forward.
• Any other information about the burglary/fires.