Detectives have released two photos of two sisters dancing with fairy lights before they were brutally stabbed to death by a stranger in a north-west London park.
Pictures show Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, dancing with fairy lights in the dark and listening to music in a park in Wembley after 1am on June 6.
Police investigating the ‘incredibly unusual’ deaths believe that the lights created a ‘distinctive pattern’ which alerted local residents and passersby to their presence.
Bibaa and Nicole were murdered in the early hours of June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s birthday with a small group of friends in a park in Fryent Country Park the evening before.
A stranger, now confirmed to be male, killed the half sisters in a vicious knife attack sometime after 1am.
Their bodies were found after 1pm on June 7 next to each other in a treeline, with a post-mortem examination later revealing that they both died from multiple stab wounds.
Now their family have released a statement through police saying ‘each day gets worse to think our daughters, Bibaa and Nicole, are not with us and that they have been brutally killed by someone’.
Detectives also said today that they have discovered a number of items belonging to Bibaa and Nicole, including their mobile phones – found in a park in the park.
Police released images taken of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, prior to their murders which they believe could assist with appeals (pictured, dancing with fairy lights)
Police also discovered their mobile phones in a pond near where their bodies were found in Fryent Country Park in north-west London on June 6 (pictured, dancing with fairy lights)
Nicole Smallman (left) and Bibaa Henry (right) were last seen dancing to music with fairy lights around 1am on June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s birthday with friends in Fryent Country Park
The sisters’ mother is 63-year-old Wilhelmina Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend, in the diocese of Chelmsford. She was the first BAME Archdeacon in the Anglican church.
Bibaa’s father is Herman Henry, who once won the England Boxing National Amateur Championships Featherweight title in 1982. Nicole’s father is called Christopher Smallman.
Bibaa, from Brent in north-west London, was an ‘exceptional’ senior social worker and ‘a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families’. Her family said that before she qualified she would drive disabled children to their activities, ‘singing as they drove along’.
Nicole from Harrow, the youngest of three sisters, ‘saw beauty in everything’ and had a ‘very calm and positive attitude towards most things in life’. Her family called her ‘a strong advocate for humanitarian causes and saving our planet’ as well as an ‘amazing photographer, actor and singer’.
‘Friends and family all agree she was beautiful both inside and out,’ her family said.
In a statement the family said: ‘The greatest fear of any parent is that they will outlive their children. What makes our situation unique is that two adored sisters were murdered together on the same night.
‘The grief we feel is palpable, our beautiful and talented daughters gone. Although there was a large age gap between them they shared a lot of the same interests. They were both very much interested in the Arts.
A statement by the Met Police also states that detectives have found Nicole and Bibaa’s mobile phones, discovered in a pond in the country park
A MailOnline map shows where police were called to at around 1pm on June 7 to a report of two women found unresponsive
‘Bibaa a hardworking professional was an exceptional Senior Social Worker and a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families.
‘Before qualifying, and to earn some extra cash, she would transport disabled children to their activities.
‘At her side in a car seat she would have our granddaughter who was only a couple of months old. Her passengers loved them both, she knew all their names and Bibaa would have them singing as they drove along.
‘Bibaa loved her family and she was proud of her parents’ gifts and talents. Bibaa’s father, Herman having been a former ABA Featherweight Champion and Business Man setting up his own Building Contracting Company.
‘As her mother, she admired my moving from office agency work to training to be a teacher and then to train later for the Priesthood. Bibaa was just barely five foot but she had the heart of a lion and a smile that would put Blackpool illuminations to shame.
‘Nicole being the youngest of three sisters was a joy from the moment she entered this world. Nicole saw beauty in everything; she had a very calm and positive attitude towards most things in life.
‘She was a strong advocate for Humanitarian causes and saving our planet. Her father Christopher and I would laugh together agreeing Nicole was a child of the 60s.
‘She was an amazing Photographer, Actor and Singer. Her speaking voice was silky smooth.
Nicole (left) and Bibaa (right) were last seen dancing to music with fairy lights around 1am on June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s birthday with friends in Fryent Country Park
The sisters had been part of a group of 10 people who congregated in the park from around 7pm on Friday, June 5 to celebrate Bibaa’s birthday. Pictured: An aerial showing police guarding the forensics tents in Fryent Country Park
‘Her voice teacher at school had said she should do radio or TV presenting. Friends and family all agree she was beautiful both inside and out. Nicole was incredibly laidback and very approachable.
‘Nowadays we would be referred to as a “Blended Family” but that is not how we see ourselves. It is not something we would be happy to be said of us.’
Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend
The statement continued: ‘Bibaa and Nicole were sisters whose untimely deaths we will spend the rest of our lives trying to come to terms with.
‘The tributes for our girls keep flooding in; it has been comforting, heart-breaking and at times overwhelming. Faith and prayer is keeping us going.
‘I’m not sure how we’d get through this without it. “The bond that links your true family is not one blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” Richard Bach.
‘The pain we feel as a family is so deep no words can express how we are feeling. This has had a devastating impact on our lives and each day gets worse to think our daughters, Bibaa and Nicole, are not with us and that they have been brutally killed by someone.
‘We are appealing to anyone who may have seen, heard, or know something to please contact the police who are investigating what has happened to our daughters’.
Detectives said the suspect received a significant injury or injuries during the attack and is thought to have left the park via the Valley Drive entrance. Police also believe that it is possible members of the public may have stumbled upon relevant items of property, but not realised the significance of them.
Police have received over 100 calls from the public after appeals for information (pictured, officers guarding forensics tents at Fryent Country Park near Wembley, north London on June 8)
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
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: ‘Following our most recent appeal we received over 100 calls from members of the public who provided information which my officers are now in the process of going through.
‘We are very thankful for this response, and want it to continue. Extensive searches are ongoing at the scene and we are discovering more evidence all the time.
‘Any motive for the murders remains unknown, and we are exploring all possibilities.
‘The meticulous work carried out by our specialist search teams has led to the recovery of a number of items belonging to both Nicole and Bibaa. This includes both of their mobile phones, which were found in a pond some distance from where they were discovered.
‘We already knew that Nicole and Bibaa had been alone in the park from about 12.30am on Saturday June 6. I can now confirm that the last contact they are believed to have had with family and friends was at 1.05am.
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 June 7
A police officer at an entrance to Fryent Country Park in Wembley. A post-mortem gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds. No arrests have yet been made
‘They were in good spirits and taking selfie pictures, listening to music and dancing with fairy lights until at least 01.13am. Those lights created a distinctive pattern, as the two images we are releasing today show.
‘This in itself may have been noticeable to local residents and other users of the park.
‘We have seized a considerable amount of CCTV from around the perimeter of the park and in surrounding roads. However if you have CCTV or dash cam footage and live locally or were out in the area and have not been contacted I urge you to get in touch.’
DCI Harding added: ‘The victims were much loved sisters who were very close despite their age gap. They were surrounded by friends and family and it’s unimaginable what they are going through.
‘For their sake and the sake of the wider community we need to identify and apprehend the suspect as soon as possible. And we need help from the public to do that.
‘So please do contact us with any information you may have which could assist, no matter how small. Someone out there knows something. I would ask them to look into their conscience and question their protection of an individual who has robbed a family of two beloved women.’
DCI Harding previously said: ‘In this sort of setting in rural London the murder is incredibly unusual and it gives us an enormous crime scene to look through.
A police cordon at an entrance to Fryent Country Park. It has emerged that sisters Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former archdeacon of Southend
‘But we won’t stop until we’ve done everything we need to do here to try to find out, and if the public could help us with that that would be fantastic.’
The suspect is likely to be wearing a bandage from a ‘noticeable’ injury with caused ‘significant’ blood loss from the time of the attack. Police have been collecting blood samples from the scene.
DCI Harding said that people should not be afraid of flagging potential suspects to police if they know someone in the area who is bandaging an unexplained injury or injuries.
When asked if he was worried the killer might strike again, he said: ‘We always have a fear of what might happen but we are assuring members of the public we are working around the clock.’
It has also emerged that a Snapchat user warned about a man ‘killing people’ in the area and going around ‘scaring’ people a week before the two murders.
The 15-year-old daughter of local resident Amanda Jacob Da Silva, 40, said her friend had posted about a man ‘going around north-west London’ on the app.
‘She said for people around Brent to beware, tell people where you are if you are going out and to call people if you are out by yourself,’ the girl said. ‘It said especially girls. It said there is a man going around killing people and the person on the Snapchat said tell people where you are.’
Police were called to Fryent Country Park at around 1pm on June 7 to a report of two women found unresponsive.
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
Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene and they were pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination conducted on June 9 gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds.
Nicole and Bibaa were in a group of people who congregated in the park from around 7.40pm on June 5 to celebrate Bibaa’s 46th birthday. Gradually people are believed to have left throughout the evening.
Officers believe Nicole and Bibaa were murdered after 1am.
Both Nicole and Bibaa were reported as missing to police late on June 6 when they did not return home, before they were discovered on Sunday. Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command (Homicide) are investigating, with the assistance of officers from the North West Command Unit.
North West Borough commander Roy Smith vowed to ‘leave no stone unturned’, adding: ‘My thoughts are with the family who have lost two loved ones in the most tragic of circumstances.
‘I know the experienced investigation team are working around the clock to identify whoever is responsible as swiftly as possible and ensure they are brought to justice. We will leave no stone unturned. Extra resources have been brought in to help from across the Met including additional detectives.’
A 36-year-old man arrested in south London on suspicion of murder was released with no further action.