In Brief

Christina Abbotts’s murder: what do we know so far?

Family pay tribute to a ‘sweet and loving’ woman whose body was found after she failed to appear at her own birthday party

A man has been charged with the murder of a 29-year-old woman who was found dead in her bed in Crawley, West Sussex, after failing to turn up to her own birthday celebrations.

The family of Christina Abbotts described her as sweet and loving in a tribute released on their behalf by Sussex police.

“This independent lady, a much-travelled person, was taken from us far too early. Her friends in London and parts of the UK will also be grieving. The light in our life is now extinguished. Love forever from our family”, they said.

Zahid Naseem, 47, of Amersham in Buckinghamshire, has appeared at Brighton magistrates’ court charged with her murder.

Suspicions were aroused when Abbotts, who had studied Real Estate Management at Oxford Brookes University, did not turn up for pre-planned birthday celebrations. “Her loved ones went looking for her at the flat in Highams Hill, Crawley”, says The Daily Telegraph.

Neighbours said police “flooded” the street on Friday after a man came looking for his daughter, says Sky News.

Deliveroo driver Aaron Harvey, 24, who lives nearby, said: “This man came over, saying he had been looking for his blonde 28-year-old daughter and had I seen her.

“He said she had been house-sitting for a man in a flat here for four months. He said no one had heard from her for about ten hours and he was worried. He said it was her birthday and she had booked a hotel in London to celebrate with friends but never turned up.”

The police were called at around 10.30pm on Friday night and discovered her body.

A postmortem found the preliminary cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head, police said.

Naseem, who knew Abbotts, was arrested at the property, police said. Abbotts had been living at the flat in the Gossops Green area of Crawley.

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