The husband has fled the country.
An Afghan mother and her two daughters were found dead in their apartment in Ajman’s Al Rashidiya area, the Ajman Police have said. Investigations revealed that they died after being strangled by a piece of cloth, and the father – also an Afghan expat – is believed to be the primary suspect.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Brigadier Abdullah Ahmad Al Hamrani, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Ajman Police, said the mother of the woman called the police around 4pm on Friday, expressing her concern about not hearing from her daughter and granddaughters despite them being at home.
The authorities – comprising officers from the forensic, crime scene, patrols departments – rushed to the family’s flat and found the bodies of the 32-year-old mother and her 16 and 13-year-old daughters in separate rooms.
They also found a three-year-old girl lying unconscious on the hall and rushed her to Khalifa Hospital. The young child, who was then handed over to her grandmother, was in a state of shock as she had not eaten or drunk anything since the murder took place.
An examination of the bodies showed that the three members of the family died after being strangled by a piece cloth, which appeared to have been tied around their necks for nearly 12 hours. Signs of assault, beating and resistance were also noted.
Premeditated murder suspected
Brig Al Hamrani said their probe showed that the father had planned the murder in advance as he had booked a plane ticket to his home country days before the crime. He also took his seven-year-old son to his wife’s family one day before.
Even the grandmother of the kids strongly believes that her 35-year-old son-in-law was behind the murder, the officer said.
“The grandmother told the police there had been disputes between the couple for three months now, and relatives had been trying to help them patch things up, but to no avail,” Brig Al Hamrani pointed out.
“She added that they started arguing almost every day and the suspect began developing a mental disorder and depression.”
Footage from the CCTV cameras of the residential building showed that on the day of the incident, the suspect left in a hurry after locking up their apartment. He also used the stairs, instead of the lift.
Then, he took a cab to the airport even though he owned a car.
The grandmother’s call was received by the police around 11 hours after the man had flown out of the country. She knew something was wrong because the family used to visit her in her home in Jumeirah, Dubai, every weekend.
Last Thursday, she was expecting them to come, so when she couldn’t get hold of her daughter and granddaughters on Friday, she decided to go to their place in Ajman.
The grandmother knocked on the doors of their neighbours, asking them whether they had seen the family.
One of the neighbours said: “I had to accompany the grandmother to the apartment 901 in Block 4C of Falcon Tower and knocked on the door. She said that she is sure the girls are inside.
“Then, she decided to call the police who managed to open the door with the help of the building’s security.”
Upon being told to stay out of the way, the senior woman was shocked as she saw the bodies of her only daughter and granddaugters being taken out of the flat.
In the eyes of neighbours
Neighbours couldn’t believe the tragedy that happened to the family. Their building had been cordoned off for more than five hours after the crime scene was discovered.
“As we live in the apartment next to the scene, we had to stay away for two days,” said one neighbour.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, another neighbour said the family had been living in the building for almost 10 years and they owned their flat. The suspect, who owned a car rental company in Dubai, was described as a quiet person “but he always greets his neighbours”.
“The daughters and the mother were beautiful and they always wore a hijab. They have a good relationship with their neighbours and even shared food with all the people living in the same floor,” she added.
Police tracking down the suspect
Lt-Col Ahmed Saeed Al Nuaimi, director of the Department of Criminal Investigation and Investigation, said their probe yielded crucial information about the circumstances surrounding the case, as well as the identity of the suspect, within an hour after the victims’ death was discovered.
The Ajman Police, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, have started coordinating with the Interpol to track down the suspect and bring him back to the country so he could face the rule of law.