Sisters found dead after birthday party in London park

A murder investigation has been launched after two sisters were found dead in a park after leaving a birthday party.

The bodies of Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were discovered in Fryent Country Park, in Wembley, north-west London on Sunday afternoon. Detectives believe they were celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday with a group of 10 people from 7pm on Friday, at a spot popular for its views over the capital.

The sisters are thought to have been left alone as others departed throughout the evening. They were reported missing to police on Saturday when they didn’t return home.

Officers were called shortly after 1pm on Sunday to find the sisters unresponsive and they were pronounced dead at the scene. The families of Ms Smallman, from Harrow and Ms Henry, who lived in Brent, have been told.

Mavis Osei-Frimpong, 52, who lives opposite Ms Henry’s flat in Wembley said police showed up at around 2pm, asked if she knew of her neighbour’s whereabouts, then broke down the door to look for her.

She said: ‘My daughter last saw her on Friday when Bibaa said it was her birthday and she was going out to celebrate. She seemed happy as it was her birthday.

‘When my neighbour said something had happened to Ms Henry, we were both crying. I was shocked. I thought why did she go out for her birthday and never come back?

‘She had one daughter who is in her early twenties, but she lived elsewhere.. I never really saw her sister Nicole.’

Another neighbour, Jacqui McKenzie, said she used to check in on Ms Henry during the lockdown and thought she was coping with it well.

She added: ‘I think they had just gone for a picnic and there were a few people there.

‘She is quiet, but she is usually in good spirits. Most of the time she keeps herself to herself. We had normal neighbourly conversations like how it is shopping in lockdown.

‘I hadn’t seen any visitors to her place in years. She didn’t seem mentally vulnerable. She was a strong, clued up person from the conversations I had with her. I think her daughter is 22 or 23, but she lives elsewhere.’

Floral tributes have been left near the scene while officers stand by a cordon.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: ‘We are in the very early stages of the investigation and are working hard to find out what led to these two women losing their lives. Their families have been devastated by their loss and they need answers.

‘They have asked that their privacy is respected at this time as they come to terms with this horrific incident. I need to hear from anyone who was in Fryent Country Park on the evening of Friday June 5 or early into Saturday June 6.

‘The area the group were situated in is around a five-minute walk from the Valley Drive entrance of the park, leading to a hill area. The area the group were in would be a well-known spot to sit and look over London.

‘If you were in that area of the park from the evening of June 5 through to Sunday lunchtime, noticed the group, or saw anything else suspicions, please contact us immediately.

‘You may have stumbled upon items of property, but not realised the significance of them. If you did, you may well have information that could assist us hugely.

An extensive crime scene remains in the park as investigators search for clues but there have been no arrests.

North West Borough Commander Roy Smith, added: ‘This is an awful incident and our thoughts are with the victims and their family.

‘We are working closely with the investigation team to ensure we get answers to what has happened. Local officers will be conducting reassurance patrols and will be happy to speak to any concerned residents.’

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