UK: Body in suitcase could be 'Banaz
By Adam Aspinall
London, A body in
a suitcase found buried in a Birmingham garden is
believed to be that of a pretty 20 year-old woman
feared murdered in a socalled 'honour killing'.
Kurdish-born Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha disappeared
in January and detectives suspect she was killed
after an arranged marriage went wrong.
Police swooped on a derelict house in Alexandra
Road, Handsworth, on Friday.
With the help of West Midlands Fire Service, they
cordoned off a rear garden and dug down 5ft to reach
the suitcase - where they discovered the body
Miss Agha, from Mitcham, south London, vanished on
Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police feared she
had been murdered because she had not withdrawn any
money from her bank, or taken a change of clothing
Yesterday, as cops continued a forensic search of
the Birmingham house and garden, neighbours spoke of
their shock at the gruesome killing.
Steve Abiola, 39, said the house where the body was
found had been vacant for years.
"I've lived here since 1992 and the house has been
derelict since then, apart from squatters sleeping
in it," he said. "But it's only in the last 18 to 24
months that the council has boarded the place up.
"The police haven't told us very much but I saw men
dressed all in white outside the house."
Another neighbour, who wished not to be named, spoke
of her horror at the discovery.
"It's difficult to believe that something like that
can happen around here," she said.
"How they managed to bury a suitcase there, I don't
know. All the gardens are so close together.
"You can hear through each other's walls because
they are paper-thin. Somebody must have seen, or
Police believe the disappearance of Miss Agha may be
linked to a failed arranged marriage.
One line of inquiry is that she may have been
murdered in an 'honour killing'.
Searches for Miss Agha's body had previously been
made at addresses in London, Birmingham and
Last night, uniformed police officers stood guard
over the boarded terrace house, and a post mortem
examination was being carried out on the body.
Police were keeping tight-lipped but a Metropolitan
force spokeswoman said: "Detectives investigating
the disappearance of a 20 year-old woman have
recovered a suitcase containing a body from an
address in Birmingham.
"The body is believed to be that of Banaz Mahmod
Babakir Agha, 20, who was last seen on Monday
January 23 in Cricket Green, Mitcham."
A 29 year-old man has been charged with murder in
connection with this inquiry.
Several other people have also been arrested during
the investigation and bailed pending further
Two of those suspects were rearrested yesterday and
are now in custody at London police stations.
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