EXCLUSIVE: Mihrican ‘Jan’ Mustafa was murdered by Zahid Younis who stored her body, along with another woman’s, in a freezer. Her heartbroken family have opened up for the first time about her struggle with drugs and how she desperately wanted to get clean.
A missing mum whose body was found in a freezer had written a letter to Jeremy Kyle asking for help getting clean before her murder.
Tragic Mihrican ‘Jan’ Mustafa, 38, was found dead in the padlocked freezer along with Henriett Szucs, 34, in Zahid Younis’ east London flat. He had murdered them both.
The women had both been missing for months before their remains were discovered at his deserted Canning Town home in April 2019.
Last week, convicted sex offender Younis was jailed for life.
Mihrican’s devastated sister Mel Mustafa and cousin Ayse Hussein, speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, say she was preyed upon by Younis after spiralling into drug addiction.
Following Mihrican’s disappearance in May 2018, her family found 60 of her diaries, which included a letter to former ITV star Jeremy that she never sent.
During Younis’ six-week murder trial at Southwark Crown Court jurors were told he had targeted vulnerable women including drug addicts like Mihrican and Henriett – who had both also suffered periods of homelessness.
Mel said: “All she writes in her diary is she wants rehab. She begged and begged and begged for someone to help her.
“She even wrote to Jeremy Kyle for help but she never posted it.
“I tried to get her help and even arranged two rehab appointments.”
The family are from a tight-knit Turkish community in London and Mihrican was very popular before her disappearance and tragic demise.
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Mel said: “She was vulnerable.
“She had argued with a couple of friends and they had kicked her out and she had argued with her family. So if he was giving her attention she would have jumped at it.”
Mel and Ayse said mum-of-three Mihrican got sucked into the destructive world of drugs after her housing benefit was stopped and she ended up losing her home.
They said the single mum was working part-time shifts at New Look, TK Maxx, and West Ham football club while also giving dance classes when her world fell apart.
Mihrican and her family were forced to move back in with her widowed mum in Custom House, next to Canning Town, an area her family said is beset with societal issues.
Mihrican made friends with the ‘wrong crowd’ and she ended up addicted to drugs.
Ayse said: “She had just split up with her boyfriend and she wrote in her diary that she was told to try the drugs and it would make her feel better.
“She didn’t even know what it was. She didn’t even smoke before this.”
Mel added: “She wrote in her diary that she didn’t know what she was taking but she took it and it solved all her problems and made her feel better.”
She initially managed to hide her addiction, especially from her mum, but it didn’t take long before her demons came to light.
Ayse added: “My mum wasn’t aware that she had got into drugs at the beginning. She managed to hide it. It wasn’t until she got deep into it.
“She was at first able to bring her kids to school and stuff but when she got heavier into the drugs she just wanted to sleep and was losing control which is when I had to step in.
“I tried to get her all the help she needed.”
Recalling the run-up events before her sister disappeared, Mel said: “I received a call from Jan the day she left. I was the last person to speak to her in the family other than my mum.
“She was crying on the phone. She said please help me. She said ‘I need £20 to go and collect my clothes from the hostel, I need the money otherwise they’re going to chuck everything away’.
“I said I won’t give you money. I’ll pick you up and we’ll go down there and get your clothes.
“But the crying she was doing was like she was scared. She had so much fear in her voice.
“Something was wrong. She needed money to get away.”
The following day Mel said Mihrican turned up at their mum’s house and asked for £20 which she unwillingly gave to her.
That was the last time they saw her and Mel filed a missing person report with police after she had been missing for a few days.
The last ever sighting of Mihrican was captured on CCTV on May 3, 2018 with Younis.
Ayse said she now believes that’s when her cousin was killed.
Four months after Mihrican disappeared Ayse set up a Facebook page in a bid to find her and the family printed posters to spread the word.
The posters were featured on Deliveroo bikes and dust trucks and the family said they were forced to spend thousands of pounds to fund the search for her.
After a few false leads, the family heard nothing more until the grim discovery was made at Younis’ flat in April last year.
Police broke into the 36-year-old’s property after he was reported missing.
An officer spotted the padlocked chest freezer in his untidy flat and had a ‘hunch’ about it so broke in.
Mihrican’s bag containing medication she had collected from the chemist across the road was found in the flat.
Detectives initially thought the freezer contained the body of one woman but after the freezer was scanned at the mortuary the full horror of both women’s demise came to light.
Police say they believe Henrietta, who came from Hungary, was murdered in 2016 and placed in the freezer before Jan was killed shortly after her disappearance.
The court heard that, between their deaths and the discovery of the bodies, there were periods when the electricity supply to the flat had been cut off – causing the bodies to start to decompose.
Both women had been subjected to “very significant violence” before their deaths and had fracture injuries associated with kicking or stamping.
They both had numerous rib fractures, Mihrican’s sternum and larynx had been fractured and Henrietta had also suffered “dreadful” head injuries.
Ayse and Mel then drove to Younis’ flat where they sat outside for several hours.
“We just wanted to see where it was. We could see all the police tape and kept thinking all this time Jan was dead in there,” Ayse said.
The family had a torturous wait of several weeks before police confirmed one of the bodies was indeed Jan.
Mel said: “When I told mum the news she dropped to the floor and held her hands out. It was also so hard telling the kids.
“There was always that hope that Jan was coming back.”
She added: “My aunt has a massive kitchen window and all she did was look out of that window every day waiting for Jan to come home. She still does it now.”
“She’s still waiting for her even though she’s moved address.”
Due to the decomposed state of Mihrican her family were not allowed to see her body.
Ayse said: “When we went to see her in the mortuary it was behind a glass window and she was covered in purple velvet with gold. “We called it the king’s throne.”
Mel added: “I need to see photos I told the police ‘you keep telling me that she’s dead but you need to show me something’.
“They couldn’t show me any full photos because she was decomposed so they showed us pictures of her tattoos.
“It helped me but her skin was purple and bruised.”
During his murder trial at Southwark Crown Court Younis had denied murder claiming he was storing the two women’s bodies on behalf of two friends.
Ayse and Mel said he was so convincing at time they almost believed some of his lies.
Ayse: “He’s very clever and manipulative. He was so convincing.
“I knew a lot about his past before the trial so it wasn’t a shock but I broke down and cried when I heard some of it.”
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Mel gave evidence at the murder trial.
She said when she took to the witness box she noticed Younis, who has kept his head down throughout the trial, looked up to see her.
“As soon as I started talking he looked at me and froze. I sound so much like Mihrican that people can’t tell us apart.
“My voice threw him.”
Younis, who is also known as Boxer, was found guilty of two counts of murder and jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 38 years.
He has admitted putting the women in his freezer and previously pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of both women but he had denied double murder.
Younis has several previous convictions for assaulting partners.
When he was 17, Younis was controlling, violent and overbearing towards his then-girlfriend, including waiting outside her house and escorting her everywhere.
In addition he was jailed for 30 months for assaulting a 14-year-old teenager and unlawful sexual activity with a child and was put on the sex offenders’ register.
The prosecution said that in 2007, following his release from prison, Younis got into a relationship with a 17-year-old girl whose father had recently died.
He was later sentenced to four years and 11 months for two counts of wounding and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Ayse said: “Why was he not being monitored properly?”
Mel said: “I hope everyday he is in that cell he suffers. I don’t want him to die I want him to suffer.”
“The death sentence is too easy for him,” Ayse added.
“I’d love to see him. Put him in room with me tomorrow and I’ll deal with him.”
Mihrican’s family are currently setting up a charity in her name to help victims of domestic violence and women struggling with substance abuse.
Ayse said: “Jan had written in her diary she wanted to help women on drugs and domestic abuse victims. We want to do something she wanted and this is one of her wishes.”
“This will be my sister’s legacy,” Mel added.