C of E's first female black archdeacon's two daughters were found dead
Revealed: Two sisters found dead at London beauty spot two days after birthday party were stabbed ‘multiple times’
- Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were found dead on Sunday afternoon
- The two sisters were found with stab wounds at Fryent County Park in Wembley
- No arrests have been made but detectives are following ‘active lines of enquiry’
- It has emerged they were daughters of C of E’s first black female archdeacon
Two sisters found dead in a London beauty spot two days after a birthday party were stabbed ‘multiple times’, police said today.
Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were found in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London, on Sunday afternoon.
A post-mortem yesterday gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds. No arrests have yet been made and detectives are following ‘a number of active lines of enquiry’.
The sisters are believed to have been amongst a group of around 10 people who gathered in the park on Friday evening to celebrate Bibaa’s birthday. Police claim that while the rest of the group left by midnight, the two women stayed behind.
Bibaa Henry (left), 46, and Nicole Smallman (right), 27, were found dead in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, on Sunday afternoon after being stabbed ‘multiple times’, police said today
A crime scene is still in place after the Met announced on Monday that the deaths were being treated as ‘suspicious’ with a murder investigation underway.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, said: ‘Both these women were stabbed multiple times and we are working tirelessly to find who is responsible.
‘Their families have been devastated by their loss and they need and deserve answers.’
It has now emerged that sisters Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former archdeacon of Southend, in the diocese of Chelmsford, who was appointed in 2013. She retired for health reasons in 2016.
Known as Mina, she was the C of E’s first female archdeacon from a minority ethnic background and was described as a ‘pioneer’ and ‘role model.’
Following news of the deaths, acting Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Peter Hill said in a statement: ‘We are devastated to hear of the tragic deaths of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry in North London at the weekend.
‘Nicole and Bibaa were the daughters of our former Archdeacon and good friend Mina Smallman. This is heart breaking news and the thoughts and prayers of everyone at Chelmsford Diocese are with Mina and her family.
‘We ask that their privacy is respected and for everyone’s prayers at this most difficult of times.’
Forensic tents pictured at Fryent County Park in Wembley. Police were called to the scene after reports of the pair being found unresponsive shortly after 1pm on Sunday
It has now emerged that sisters Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, pictured, the former archdeacon of Southend, in the diocese of Chelmsford
The sisters were reported missing late on Saturday. Bibba was a senior social worker in children’s services at Buckinghamshire council. Nicole was a photographer who graduated from the University of Westminster.
Forensic teams continue to comb Fryent Country Park and Bibaa’s home in Wembley, north-west London. Searches have also taken place at Nicole’s home in nearby Harrow.
Bouquets of flowers have been laid at the entrance to the park, including one from Monet, Bibaa’s daughter and only child, which simply reads: ‘Mum I miss you so. Love Monet.’
Bibaa was described as being in ‘high spirits’ on the way to her birthday picnic when she was last seen on Friday, according to shocked neighbours.
Andrea, who lives next door to Bibaa told MailOnline: ‘She was a very positive, cheerful person, even through the lockdown.
‘I was invited to the party but couldn’t attend because I had to go and see my mother. Her flat is quite small and she told me that because of social distancing, it would be better to hold it in the park.’
Friends revealed that Nicole previously worked at The Castle pub in Harrow and was well liked by colleagues.
Police forensics at Fryent Country Park. The Met Police announced on Monday that they are treating the deaths as ‘suspicious’ and a murder investigation had been launched
Police forensics at Fryent Country Park. Prior to the two women being discovered, their bodies are believed to have been spotted a day earlier by a woman who believed they were asleep
‘She was very creative and really had a good energy. She was a very sociable person and liked to party. It’s a total mystery what’s happened,’ said one.
Residents living close to Fryent Country Park revealed that a number of people had been staying there in tents during the lockdown.
Dinesh Patel, 45 said: ‘All of us are worried because we use this park a lot. The police haven’t given us any information and we need to know if they are looking for anybody, have these women been attacked or has something else happened?
‘Until we know what has caused their deaths, it’s left all of us feeling very scared and nervous.’
Prior to the two women being discovered, their bodies are believed to have been spotted a day earlier on Saturday.
A 66-year-old retired shopkeeper said he spotted a group, though to be Bibaa’s party, on Friday. She added a neighbour saw two bodies in the park the following day, assuming they were asleep.
She said: ‘I go running at the top of the hill every evening. On Friday, there were about three groups of people at around 9pm.
A police cordon at an entrance to Fryent Country Park. It has now emerged that sisters Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former archdeacon of Southend
A police officer at an entrance to Fryent Country Park in Wembley. A post-mortem yesterday gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds. No arrests have yet been made
Flowers an an entrance to Freyent Country Park in a tribute to the two sisters. Residents living close to the area said a number of people had been staying there in tents during lockdown
‘There was a group of men, a group of two women with a dog. Then there was a larger group of around eight or so people which could have been them, but I don’t remember seeing either of the women specifically.
‘Everybody just seemed to be relaxing and enjoying the view. Every night when the weather is okay there are always groups of young men and women up there drinking and smoking, especially since the lockdown.
‘My neighbour saw the two girls on Saturday, but she thought they were rough sleepers.’
She added: ‘It was not clear they were injured or anything. She said she just saw the two girls lying on the floor and there was a backpack next to them.
‘If I ever see people sleeping up there, I usually go up to them and say, ‘are you okay?’
‘Sometimes there are people lying up there who might look dead, but they are sleeping.’
In an appeal for information, Senior investigating officer DCI Simon Harding said: ‘I need to hear from anyone who was in Fryent Country Park on the evening of Friday, 5 June, or early into Saturday, 6 June.
‘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 5 June through to Sunday lunchtime, noticed the group, or saw anything or anyone suspicious, please contact us immediately.
‘I also want to hear from people who regularly use the park, you may have seen a person acting suspiciously in the days leading up to the attack, you may not think your information is relevant, but it may be vital, so call and tell us what you know.
‘You may also 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. No matter how insignificant it may seem, please contact us via the incident room on 020 8721 4205, or via 101.’
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