London: Police have arrested the 22-year-old boyfriend of a City University student who was found dead with severe neck injuries in her London halls.
Maher Maaroufe was arrested this afternoon in Clerkenwell on suspicion of murder and assault on police.
Sabita Thanwani, a British national of Indian origin, died at Arbour House in Sebastian Street after she was found with severe neck injuries, police said.
A manhunt was launched by detectives in a bid to trace Maaroufe who they believe had been in a relationship with Sabita.
The Met Police have released a CCTV image of Maher at the student accommodation on Saturday morning.
The Tunisian national, who is not a student, is known to travel and has links across London and Cambridgeshire. Police say he has since shaved his head and beard.
Early indications so far suggest that the victim had been in a relationship with Maaroufe and that they had been together that evening.
Police said that although formal identification is yet to take place, Sabita’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley who leads the investigation said: ‘I would like to thank everyone for publicising and sharing our appeal to trace Maaroufe.
‘Sabita’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers. Our deepest condolences are with them.
‘I would ask everyone to respect their privacy at this indescribably devastating time for them as they come to terms with Sabita’s murder.’
Officers were first called at around 5.10 am on Saturday, to reports of a woman injured at Arbour House, student accommodation in Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell.
The London Ambulance Service and officers attended and found Sabita, believed to have been a psychology student at City, University of London, gravely injured.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, the 19-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 19-year-old woman, who was reportedly a first-year student, is believed to have been killed on the fifth floor of a block of flats owned by Unite Students.
Neighbour Arsh Srivastava, 21, who is a business student said: ‘At around 5.45 am I heard a voice that sounded like a grown man.
‘I heard the fire alarm go off and I heard someone running out of a background floor exit near where I live. I thought it was the suspect.
‘After that, the police showed up around half an hour later. They have been investigating ever since. I heard them talking about someone trying to escape through the hallway door.’