- Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were killed in knife attack on June 6
- They had spent the evening celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday in Wembley, London
- Detectives arrested teenager at home in South London on suspicion of murders
- Police visited victims’ family in person today to tell them about overnight arrest
- Officers have recovered 1,000 exhibits and gone to hundreds of homes in probe
An 18-year-old man was arrested overnight on suspicion of murdering two sisters nearly a month after they were found stabbed to death in a London park.
Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were killed in a frenzied knife attack at Fryent Park in Wembley, North West London, in the early hours of June 6.
They had spent the evening celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday, but police were called to the park the next day at about 1pm to reports of two women found unresponsive.
Detectives and paramedics attended the scene but Ms Henry, who lived in Brent, and Ms Smallman, from Harrow, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Overnight, Scotland Yard arrested the teenager at a home in South London on suspicion of both murders, and he was taken into custody where he remains today.
Police visited the victims’ family in person today to tell them about the arrest, which comes after officers recovered 1,000 exhibits and went to hundreds of homes.
The bodies were found by Ms Smallman’s boyfriend Adam, who also found the murder weapon after taking it upon himself to return to where they were last seen.
The victims’ family have criticised the initial police response and were left shocked when it was claimed two officers had taken ‘sickening’ photographs of the bodies.
The women were in a group of people who gathered in the park from 7.40pm on June 5 to celebrate the birthday, with people leaving gradually during the evening.
By about 0.30am on June 6, only the sisters remained, and they are last thought to have had contact with their family and friends at 1.05am.
Police said they were happily taking selfies, listening to music and dancing with fairy lights until at least 1.13am, but calls to them at about 2.30am went unanswered.
Both sisters were then reported as missing to police late on June 6, before they were both found on Sunday. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as stab wounds.+8
Forensics officers investigate at Fryent Park in Wembley, North West London, on June 9+8
Officers guard forensics tents at Fryent Park on June 8 while the investigation continues+8
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: ‘This investigation into the awful death of two sisters is of course a priority for the Metropolitan Police Service and my officers have been working around the clock to identify the person responsible.
‘They dehumanised our children’: Mother slams ‘toxic’ Met Police after officers ‘took selfies’ with bodies of her murdered daughters
The grieving mother of two women who were stabbed to death slammed the ‘toxic’ Metropolitan Police after two officers were accused of taking selfies next to the bodies of her daughters.
Mina Smallman said the accused officers ‘dehumanised’ her murdered daughters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry by taking the selfies in Wembley – which are believed to have been shared with members of the public.
Mrs Smallman told the BBC yesterday about the moment she learned her daughters were dead, saying: ‘All I remember is letting out a howl that came from the core of my soul, that’s the only way I can describe it.’
And speaking about the selfies, she added: ‘The lead person said “I don’t know how to tell you this but police officers were taking selfies and posing for pictures with your dead daughters”.
‘Those police officers dehumanised our children. If ever we needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs.’
‘A team of forensic officers have been a constant presence at the park over the last few weeks carrying out meticulous fingertip searches at what is a vast and complex crime scene.
‘Whilst that work has now concluded, smaller searches in outer areas of the park will continue. To date officers have recovered more than 1,000 exhibits – including property belonging to both Nicole and Bibaa, collected hours of CCTV and visited hundreds of homes and businesses.
‘And those enquiries remain ongoing. I would continue to appeal to the public to come forward with any information they feel may be relevant to our investigation.’
It comes after two Scotland Yard officers were arrested for allegedly taking ‘sickening’ photographs of the bodies of the two murdered sisters.
The grieving family were said to have been ‘extremely distressed’ after it emerged that ‘non-official and inappropriate photographs’ were taken at the murder scene.
It is alleged that two officers deployed to guard the murder scene took photographs of their bodies and sent the images to a group of people, including members of the public.
Both were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office last Monday and the matter was passed to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) to investigate.
The referral last Friday was made on the same day that the women’s family released a haunting last image of the sisters with fairy lights as they danced together in the park.
The selfies, taken on a tripod barely an hour before the double murder, were recovered from one of their mobile phones after their bodies were found.
The watchdog is also investigating whether officers properly carried out a search after the women were reported missing due to the length of time it took to discover their bodies.
The independent investigation will consider whether any criminal charges should be brought. +8
- READ ALSO: Mother, 35, who ‘used a BREAD KNIFE to kill daughter, five, before stabbing herself in the stomach’ undergoes five hours of life-saving surgery in hospital
A police officer stands next to flowers at an entrance to Fryent Park in Wembley on June 8Tributes left at London park where bodies of two sisters were found+8
An aerial showing police guarding the forensics tents at Fryent Park in Wembley on June 8
Both officers, who are based on the North East Command, have been suspended from duty and are currently on police bail.
The victims’ mother Wilhelmina Smallman was the first female BAME archdeacon in the Anglican church.
Last month Mrs Smallman released a heartbreaking tribute to her elder daughter Ms Henry, a senior social worker and Ms Smallman, a freelance photographer.
She said: ‘The pain we feel as a family is so deep no words can express how we are feeling.