As the mother of Sanaya Sahib prepares to appear before Melbourne’s Magistrates court today after being charged with the murder of the toddler, her father, Sameer Sahib has spoken of his horror over his daughter’s death.
“I just feel sick in my stomach,” Mr Sahib said of the murder of his daughter and arrest of his ex-partner.
Sanaya Sahib was found dumped in a creek. Image via Facebook.
Yesterday Sofina Nikat, 22, of Mitcham was charged with murder by homicide detectives.
Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey told a court hearing last night Ms Nikat made a "full confession to the murder" of her 14-month-old daughter.
CCTV footage obtained by police and shown by Seven News shows Ms Nikat walking to the park with a baby in a pram on Saturday morning, just like she alleged, but then, instead of a hysterical mother running desperately back to the home to call police it shows her calmly returning with the blue and yellow pram which is chillingly empty.
CCTV footage obtained by police and shown by Seven News.
Ms Nikat had claimed her baby was snatched by a shoeless African man who smelled of alcohol on Saturday while they walked in the park.
But police allege the little girl was murdered on Saturday by her 22-year-old mother and then dumped in the Darebin Creek.
The former partner of Ms Nikat and father of Sanaya, Sameer Sahib told News Limited he was driving to join in the search for his missing baby girl when police rang him and told him to pull over and they were on their way to see him with some news.
“They wanted to tell me they didn’t find her alive.”
Mr Sahib says he was estranged from Sofina Nikat and had not seen Sanaya for more than six months when out of the blue Ms Nikat rang him last week.
“All of a sudden she called me on Wednesday and she said to come and see her, and then this happened on the weekend,’’ Mr Sahib said.
“She just said it’s been a long time, come see her.
“It’s a bit suspicious, I reckon.”
Ms Nikat had claimed her baby was snatched by a shoeless African man. Image via Facebook.
The couple separated almost a year ago and their relationship has been described as acrimonious.
Mr Sahib told News Limited that he had been restricted from seeing Sanaya and Ms Nikat had blocked his phone number.
“I’m really distraught at what happened” he said “It hasn’t hit properly yet.”
He told The Herald Sun that he had left it to Centerlink and the department of human services to look after his former wife and daughter.
“I just left it to them to look after my baby — the best welfare for both of them.
“They said they would take the best care of her — that nothing like this would ever happen.”
Yesterday it emerged that just a week ago paramedics treated the little girl for a “seizure” when an ambulance attended the Heidelberg West home belonging to her uncle Habib Ali’s in Perth St.
Paramedics aired concerns the seizure was triggered because the youngster had been smothered, causing her to fit due to a lack of oxygen.
It was also revealed that two men connected to the toddler are facing serious criminal charges - just in the week before her death.
The men, who can't be named for legal reasons are said to be close to the toddler. The Age reports that one is charged with serious family violence offences, including assault with a weapon.
Sofina Nikat will appear in court today. Image via ABC News.
As neighbours and locals struggle to come to terms with the news that Ms Nikat has been arrested, a friend of Sofina Nikat from childhood posted a tribute to Sanaya on Facebook.
May Allah (S.W.T) grant you heavens #Sanaya.REST IN PEACE ANGEL....
Always loved to hear your voice. Just don't believe Allah took you from us in a cruel manner. Idk Sofina Nikat what went wrong that you took this step.You loved her alot most of us knew this.You had been a great friend since I knew u back from early high school
"i taught home is the safest place for anyone but nowdays it seems it isn't
Ms Nikat, who has yet to enter a plea will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court today.