Sara Sharif's father arrested alongside stepmother and brother on suspicion of murder

The three family members were arrested upon their return to the UK on suspicion of Sara's murder, ITV News' Sejal Karia reports

Urfan Sharif, the father of Sara Sharif, and two others have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the 10-year-old’s death, ITV News understands.

Sharif, 41, his wife Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother Faisal Malik, 28, are understood to have boarded a flight earlier in the day from Pakistan and landed at Gatwick Airport around 7.30pm.

The three family members, along with Sara's five siblings, fled the UK after police discovered her body in Woking on August 10.

Sara Sharif, 10, was found dead at her home in Woking on August 10. Credit: Surrey Police

A post-mortem examination found the 10-year-old suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.

Sara’s birth mother has been informed of this latest update and is being supported by specialist officers, police have said.

In a statement, Surrey Police detective superintendent Mark Chapman said: “This evening, around 7.45pm, three people were arrested in connection with this investigation at Gatwick Airport.

Watch the moment the flight carrying three of Sara Sharif's relatives touched down at Gatwick Airport

“Two men, aged 41 years and 28 years, and a woman, aged 29 years, were arrested on suspicion of murder after disembarking a flight from Dubai. They are currently in custody and will be interviewed in due course.

“Sara’s mother has been informed of this latest update and is being supported by specialist officers. Our thoughts remain with her and those affected by Sara’s death at this very difficult time.

“This has been an extremely fast-moving, challenging and complex enquiry and we remain absolutely committed to conducting a thorough investigation into Sara’s death.

Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and Urfan’s brother, Faisal Malik, 28. Credit: ITV

“We will not be commenting any further at this point and will provide further updates as and when we are able to,” he added.

Surrey Police had launched an international man hunt for Sharif, Batool and Malik.

Around a month after Sara Sharif's body was discovered, police in Jhelum, 108 miles north-west of the Pakistan city of Lahore, said Sharif and his wife Batool were in hiding.

Police vans are filmed driving away after Sara Sharif's father, uncle, and stepmother are arrested at Gatwick on Wednesday evening

Officers brought 10 of Sharif's relatives in for questioning on Saturday.

It is common in Pakistan to detain the close family of wanted suspects but they are not kept in jail to avoid having to go to court.

Police found Sara's five siblings, who are aged between one and 13, after a raid at their grandfather's home in Jhelum.

On Tuesday, a court in Pakistan ruled they should be looked after by child protection services until their long-term custody is decided.

Last week, Sara’s stepmother spoke publicly for the first time since the little girl was found dead.

Sharif sat silently beside her as Batool described Sara’s death as “an incident” and says the pair are willing to co-operate with UK authorities over the case.

Urfan Sharif and his partner Beinash Batool speak out on Sara Sharid's death

Sara’s grandfather previously told the BBC the girl’s death was an “accident” and three family members who left the UK for Pakistan will “ultimately” return to face police questioning.

Muhammad Sharif said he saw Sara’s father soon after he arrived in the city of Jhelum, in the South Asian country, and said his son had fled the UK out of “fear”.

Surrey Police is appealing for information to help them gain a picture of Sara’s life.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...