Video/Update: Police release man arrested in connection with ‘brutal and savage attack’ on Nahid Almanea who was stabbed 16 times in Greenstead, Colchester
12:14 19 June 2014
Police have released the man arrested in connection with the murder of a Saudi Arabian student in Colchester.
Nahid Aimanea was stabbed 16 times on Tuesday morning in what police have described as a “brutal and savage attack”.
The 52-year-old Colchester man who had been arrested in connection with the murder was released this evening (Thursday) after being “positively eliminated” from inquiries.
Earlier today, Essex Police, announcing the findings of a postmortem examination, said two of the 16 stab wounds inflicted would have been fatal on their own.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron, speaking at a press conference this afternoon, said it was “a brutal and savage attack”.
Ms Almanea, 31, of Woodrow Way, was found unconscious in an alleyway off Avon Way in Greenstead on Tuesday morning.
In a statement this evening, Essex Police pledged to continue “unrelentingly” to bring Ms Almanea’s killer to justice.
Officers previously said the victim’s Muslim faith “is one of the main lines of the investigation”. However, Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh today warned against making assumptions.
“This is simply not known at this stage, and jumping to conclusions is deeply unhelpful, wrong and dangerous,” he said.
Ms Almanea had been living in Colchester while studying at the University of Essex,
A spokesman for the university said: “It is with great shock and deep sadness that our close community receives the news of the tragic death of our student Nahid Almanea.
“Nahid came to the University from Saudi Arabia to study on the Essex English Language Programme at the International Academy, and was due to finish her studies in August. Nahid died on Tuesday 17 June following a serious incident in the Greenstead area of Colchester.
“Our thoughts are now with Nahid’s family, friends and teachers during this extremely difficult time.
“The University continues to help police with their enquiries, and we have been advised by police that a man has been arrested in connection with the incident.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “On behalf of the entire University community, I express our deepest condolences to Nahid’s family and friends following this devastating loss.
“We have students and staff here from over 130 countries and are proud of our genuinely global community. We are committed to ensuring that all our students and staff are being fully supported by the University.”
Richard Barnard, Head of the International Academy said: “Nahid was a student on the Essex English Language Programme, which develops students’ English language skills.
“Nahid joined this programme and was a very hard-working and conscientious student, who was making excellent progress. She was a quiet, considerate and well-respected member of the programme and had ambitions to move on to further academic study.
“She will be greatly missed by her teachers and her fellow students.”
Detectives have received an encouraging response from the public to its requests for information but continue to appeal for anyone who saw Ms Almanea walking through the Greenstead estate on Tuesday morning.
She is believed to have left her home in Woodrow Way and then made her way down across Avon Way onto the Salary Brook Trail.
It is possible she may have got onto the trail at one of several entrances on Avon Way towards St Andrews Avenue.
At the time she was wearing a dark navy blue full length robe called an Abaya, and a patterned multi-coloured headscarf, known as a Hijab. She also had with her a black bag, with orange panels, which she was carrying on a shoulder strap.
If anyone saw her or was in this area yesterday morning we would ask them to call us.
Detectives are also asking residents to check their gardens and rubbish bins for any discarded weapons or blood stained clothing.
They are asking for anyone who has CCTV footage which covers any part of the Greenstead estate between Woodrow Way and the Salary Brook Trail to make contact with them so that it can be viewed.
Anyone with any information that could assist the enquiry is asked to contact the Major Investigation Team on 01245 282103, Essex Police on 101 or they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The identification comes as magistrates allow detectives more time to question a 52-year-old man arrested on Tuesday in connection with the murder.
Police are continuing to carry out searches of the scene where she was found.