Sabina Nessa, 28, was found in Cator Park, Greenwich, just a few miles from where she worked in Catford as a primary school teacher
The father of a school teacher believed to have been murdered in a horrific stranger attack has been left a ‘broken man’, neighbours say.
Sabina Nessa, 28, was found in Cator Park, Greenwich, just a few miles from where she worked in Catford.
Officers were called at 5.32pm on Saturday after her body lay undiscovered for almost 24 hours.
She had been a teacher at nearby Rushey Green Primary School after studying at the University of Bedfordshire. She started at the school in July 2020.
Sabina, one of four sisters, lived in London and taught in Catford – and had previously worked helping non-English speakers develop their language skills.
Her father, a chef, is understood to have visited neighbours to tell them the tragic news after her body was found.
One neighbour told the Evening Standard: “He looked in total shock, like a broken man.
“He said ‘my daughter has been killed’ – He looked terrible as if the blood had been drained from him.
“We have seen her grow up. She lived in London but regularly came back. They are a close family.”
Police believe a stranger may have targeted Sabina before dumping her body in a meadow, which lay undiscovered in Cator Park, south-east London, for almost 24 hours.
Officers were called at 5.32pm on Saturday after the teacher’s body was found near the OneSpace community centre, a popular area with families and dog walkers in Kidbrooke.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Garrity said: “Our initial enquiries suggest that this attack happened at around 20:30hrs on Friday, 17 September, a time when the park was likely being used by many people from dog walkers to joggers.
“Sabina was found near the OneSpace community centre which we know is a facility used by lots of people and we would ask anyone who was in or around the area and who may have any information to come forward.
“Did you see someone loitering or acting suspiciously? Or, did you see someone leaving the area in a hurry, perhaps running away? If you have any information, it is vital you tell us.
“We are working around the clock to deliver justice for the family of this young woman, and we need your help to do it. Please contact 0208 721 4266, or 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers.”
Annie Gibbs posted on Twitter: ‘As a community of residents in Kidbrooke Village we wish to stand in solidarity against violence & acknowledge Sabina Nessa life with respect. If you are local & wish to join us this Friday evening from 7pm in Peglar Square pls do so. More info will be shared tomorrow.’
It’s understood Sabina’s body was found by a woman looking in the meadow for a missing necklace – who then called over a nearby dog walker to help.
Headteacher at her Lewisham school, Lisa Williams, said today: “We are devastated by Sabina’s tragic death. She was a brilliant teacher; she was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils.
“She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give and her loss is desperately sad. As a school we are supporting each other through this very difficult time, and we will be providing specialist support to those who need it.”