Harlow fatal fire: Police hope Facebook appeal will encourage residents to come forward
Detectives investigating the murder of six members of a family
in Harlow hope that a new Facebook
appeal will reach out to someone who knows what happened.
Dr Abdul Shakoor's wife and five children died after a fire at
their home in Barn Mead, Harlow on Monday, October 15, 2012.
Evidence from fire scientists has indicated that the likely cause
of the fatal fire was malicious ignition and detectives are
treating the deaths of Dr Sabah Usmani and her children as
Detectives know that there was a burglary at the house on the
same evening/early morning of the fire and are re-appealing for
information and witnesses.
Photo: Dr Shakoor's family
Det Supt Rob Vinson, who is leading the murder
investigaton, said: “As Dr Abdul Shakoor has to face the
holiday season for the first time without his beloved wife Dr Sabah
Usmani and children Hira, Sohaib, Muneeb, Rayyan and youngest
Maheen, I hope someone’s conscience will lead them to pick up the
phone and call detectives or Crimestoppers and tell us the
information they know.”
For the first time Essex Police has an advertisement
on Facebook that will only appear on the Facebook accounts of
people living in Harlow, aged from teenagers to 55 years
old. The advert takes people through to the Essex Police
Facebook page and a renewed appeal for information.
Crimestoppers charity is offering a reward of up to £10,000 for
information and The Sun newspaper is also offering the same
The questions detectives want answers to are:
- Have you heard people talking about the fire? Do you know
anything that will help?
- Do you know anything about the burglary at the house?
- There was at least one teenager on a bike in Barn Mead at the
time of the fire. Was that you, do you know who it was?
- Do you know anything about burglaries in three other roads or a
car fire in Broadfields?
- Two petrol cans were found in Barn Mead two days after the
fire, do you know anything?
- The laptop bag and Toshiba two-pin power lead, stolen in the
burglary, were found near St Michael’s Close and Whitewaits.
How did they get there?
- Have you been offered a Toshiba Satellite laptop since the
Det Supt Vinson added: “We have a large, dedicated team of
officers and staff working on Operation Shakespeare. This is
one of the biggest and most complex investigations in Essex
Police’s history. I need the public to come forward with
information, either anonymously through Crimestoppers, or by
phoning 01277 266869, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Dr Shakoor is a dignified, private man who is grieving for his
family in what is the most unimaginably difficult
circumstances. If you know something, please call.”