Man arrested on suspicion of Ilford murder as police name victim

Zara Aleena

Zara Aleena - Credit: Met Police

A man has been arrested after a woman, since named by police as Zara Aleena, was murdered while walking towards Gants Hill yesterday morning.

Police were called at 2.44am yesterday morning - Sunday, June 26 - to a woman found in Cranbrook Road suffering with serious head injuries.

The victim, now confirmed as 35-year-old Zara Aleena, was taken to hospital where she tragically died later that morning. 

A 29-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in custody.

Chief superintendent Stuart Bell, the senior officer responsible for policing in the East Area, has since issued a statement regarding this awful news.

Confirming Zara to be the victim, formal identification pending, the officer said: “Resources from across the Met are being drawn upon to help us identify whoever is responsible and the murder investigation is developing quickly."

Ch Supt Bell expressed his "heartfelt condolences" to Zara's family, who are being kept abreast of all developments while being supported by specialist officers.

"I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling," he admitted.

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Further detail has since emerged about the tragedy, with Zara's killing now believed to have been a stranger attack.

The 35-year-old was walking along Cranbrook Road in the direction of Gants Hill Station when she was assaulted.

A special post mortem now completed confirmed that Zara suffered multiple serious injuries which contributed to her death.

There is no evidence at this time that weapons were used.

Ch Supt Bell continued: “We know people are concerned and we are determined 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."

The officer promised that tackling violence against women is "an absolute priority" for the Met.

“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," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the major incident room on 0208 345 3715.

To remain 100 percent anonymous, visit the Crimestoppers website or call 0800 555 111.

The investigation is being led by homicide detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command.