Man charged with preventing lawful burial after women’s bodies found in freezer

A man has been charged with preventing the lawful burial of two women whose bodies were found in a freezer in his flat.

Zarhid Younis, 34, was arrested after police discovered the victims in the ground floor flat where he lived in Vandome Close, Canning Town, on Friday morning.

Detectives say it could take a week to identify the clothed bodies, which were fused together in a small chest freezer.

Younis will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with two counts of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.

Post-mortem examinations will begin on the pair on Friday but Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said identification could take days as the crime scene is “one of the most challenging and complex” he has seen in 28 years.

He told reporters: “It’s such an unusual scene. I haven’t really seen something like this where the nature of the two bodies being frozen as they are.

“They are clothed, which I can say, and that’s also causing a complexity to it as we wait to start a post-mortem.”

Mr Harding said there were no signs of any injuries on the women and he explained it was too complex to say whether they were “whole”.

He added: “They are in a chest freezer.

“One body on top of the other. Being in a chest freezer anyway has caused the bodies to fuse.”

He could not say whether the pair were adults and said DNA testing is under way as detectives work with the National Crime Agency and missing persons groups to find out who they are.

“We could be a week away from identifying them,” he said.

Police said the apartment had been used by “transient members of the community” and linked to drugs.

Mr Harding appealed for anyone who has visited the flat in the past year, or knows anyone who has, to come forward.

He said: “I would appeal to anyone who has visited this address over the last year, or has information about people who frequented the property, to come forward and speak to my team.

Two women dead in east London
The women were found in a flat in Vandome Close, east London (Tom Pilgrim/PA)

“I am aware that casts a wide net in terms of my appeal but we do need to build up an accurate picture of life at that flat and what occurred there.”

There are fears for mother Mary-Jane Mustafa, 37, who went missing last May. Her family were seen at the flat on Tuesday as they desperately waited for information.

Her cousin Ayse Hussein, 46, said: “If it is my cousin, it’s just going to be a waiting game. They just have to confirm it.

“How they have been found, they can’t just do it. It’s going to take days.”

The family said police are keeping them updated on developments but they still hope Ms Mustafa will be found alive.

Her older sister Mel Mustafa, 47, said: “She is the most kind-hearted person you could meet and I still don’t believe it’s her.”

She added: “I wish the police would have listened to us earlier. They failed and I’m not scared to admit it any more.”

A 50-year-old who was arrested on suspicion of murder has been released under investigation.

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