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South Asian Muslim Girl Stabbed To Death In UK

PTI 20 Jan 2010, 12:14:21 IST

Asha Muneer, a South Asian Muslim girl  in Reading, was stabbed to death while she was returning home from work at a Laura Ashley store, reports The Mail, London.  The 18-year-old schoolgirl worked as a shop assistant. He body was discovered two miles away from the centre of Reading along a lonely riverside footpath on Monday evening.

Asha was stabbed 'multiple times' in the head and body. Her handbag, which was found near her blood-soaked body, had been emptied and its contents scattered on the ground, police said.

Detectives said the murder took place at around 8.30 pm near Reading Football Club's Madejski stadium. It was dicovered 45 minutes later bya jogger.

The store where the teenager works closes at 6pm leaving two-and-a-half hours unaccounted for. However, last night it was reported she had arranged to meet friends at a nearby McDonald's after work.

Asha's uncle, said: 'We don't really know anything much about what happened. It is too soon to talk about Asha. We are not in the right place in our heads at the moment.'  Asha had four sisters aged between 14 and 21 and a young brother. Her father is a taxi driver.

A close school friend, Amy Collett, said: 'Everyone loved her. She was so sweet and funny and was there 100 per cent for her friends. She was so bubbly.'

The pair met at Reading Girls School which Asha attended for GCSEs before moving to Highdown School in Caversham to do her A-levels.

Amy added: 'Just the other week she messaged me about an event she was organising. It was going to be like a mini reunion. I'm so sad that I won't be seeing her there now.'

Another friend said she believed the teenager had an older boyfriend. She said: 'I don't know how she met him. I heard a few months ago they were having problems.'

A Facebook group page was set up in Asha's memory. A poem dedicated to the schoolgirl finished with the lines: 'Asha was definitely a star to those she knew - like a sister to everyone.'

One local woman, housewife Leanne Marlow  told how she had walked the path where Asha died just two hours before the attack. She said: 'It was very dark. 'It can be very gloomy down there, especially at night.'

White-suited forensic officers on Tuesday trawled the site immediately around where Asha's body was found. A kitchen knife was found on the ground nearby but it was unclear if it was used in the attack.

The underpass, which runs under the A33 road, is often used by pedestrians to walk between the various retail, industrial and housing estates that line the road into Reading town centre.

Police revealed a 19-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder in Reading.