In April of 2021 a young woman named Saman Abbas, of Pakistani origin but living in Italy, disappeared from Novellara and was assumed to have been “honor-killed” by her parents and male relatives. Now, at long last, her body may have been found.
Human remains found near Novellara: “Could be Saman”
November 19, 2022
During a new inspection in Novellara, forensic investigators have found human remains a short distance from the place where Saman Abbas lived with her family.
During last night’s new search in Novellara, a municipality in the province of Reggio Emilia, forensic police (RIS) discovered some human remains a short distance from the place where Saman Abbas lived with her family. According to what has emerged so far, the remains of a cadaver were reportedly found, and at this moment, investigations by the Carabinieri are underway to determine if they are the remains of the 18-year-old.
The arranged marriage
The young Pakistani girl, who had refused a marriage arranged by her parents in her country of origin, disappeared on the night of April 30, 2021. She was not heard from after that, and all searches produced negative results. The Prosecutor’s Office believes she was killed for refusing to assent to a marriage with a distant cousin ten years older than herself. Five of Saman’s relatives are under investigation for homicide. In the past few days, the father of the girl, Shabbar Abbas, was arrested in Pakistan. Identification has not yet been confirmed, and it will be necessary to conduct all the analyses and await the results of the autopsy. Only in the coming hours, or perhaps, in the coming days, will it be known with certainty whether a turning point in the mystery has finally been reached, and if the remains discovered are actually the body of the 18-year-old.
The new search and the discovery
The human remains discovered in Novellara were buried inside an abandoned shed, immersed in the fog, located a few hundred meters from the house in which the family of Saman lived. The Carabinieri from the investigative unit of the provincial command of Reggio Emilia, along with those from the Company of Guastalla, and coordinated by the prosecutor’s office led by Calogero Gaetano Paci, conducted a further search yesterday evening. The area has been closed off, and since the early morning hours, the Carabinieri, together with the forensic police (RIS) of Parma, are proceeding with the operation of recovering and finding the remains. The Fire Department of Reggio Emila has also arrived at the scene.
“It is premature to say anything; the activities are in progress: We will evaluate it after recovering the remains discovered. Obviously, we will proceed with all the necessary analyses, and it will take a few days,” the Reggio Emilia prosecutor, Gaetano Paci, stated, responding to AGI. The head of the Reggio-Emilia investigators is proceeding to the scene with the medical examiners.
The direction is compatible
In the meantime, however, the location of the crumbling farmhouse where a cadaver was found, which could be precisely that of Saman, would be compatible, in respect to the house in which the young Pakistani lived, and with that direction in which the girl’s relatives moved. The relatives of the 18-year-old, in fact, were captured by a surveillance camera on April 29, the day before the disappearance of the young girl. In the footage, three persons are seen, who were then identified by investigators as the uncle and two cousins investigated for the crime, walking with a crowbar and a shovel. According to the investigators, the three men were going to dig the hole where they could then bury the girl’s body once they had killed her. Neither detector dogs nor technical instruments succeeded in finding anything for over two months.
What the Carabinieri found
The Carabinieri found a cadaver inside a black sack about two feet down. The place of discovery is located less than 500 meters from the house in which the family of Saman Abbas lived and were employed by a farm. The examinations by RIS are in progress and will continue in the coming hours, and the Carabinieri of Reggio-Emilia and the Fire Department are present. The ruined farmhouse in which the body was found is part of a complex of ruins near a group of houses where, up to a short time ago, there was a pig farm. In front, there is an uncultivated field, next to a stretch of woods and behind, there are buildings, some occupied. Around the farmhouse are greenhouses, fields, and vineyards. According to what has emerged, it is reportedly a place already searched a few times in recent months.
The news of the arrest of the father of the 18-year-old by the local Pakistani police was reported a few days ago in an exclusive by the Channel 4 program, Quarto Grado [4th Grade]. The man was reportedly arrested because he is accused of a $20,000 fraud perpetrated against a co-national. From the first moment after Saman disappeared, suspicions were immediately focused on her relatives, who were against her acquaintance with a young man of her age and nationality residing in the Frosinone area. About one month after the disappearance of the girl and precisely on June 8, 2021, the father confessed to the murder of the daughter during a telephone call with a relative who was in Italy. The parents, in fact, managed to escape to Pakistan. It was precisely that conversation contained in the files of the trial that will begin next February 10. Charged with the homicide of the young girl are the parents, the uncle, and two cousins.
The mother is still a fugitive
The parents are being charged in the trial. The father, 64-year-old Shabbar Abbas, has been in jail in Pakistan for a few days. Last November 12, local authorities issued an arrest warrant for both parents. Following a long evaluation, local authorities decided to activate the “red notice”, or an international arrest warrant already in the Interpol system, assigned to the police in Punjab, the region of origin for the Abbas family. The man was arrested last Wednesday and is accused of homicide, and is awaiting extradition. The mother of the girl, 47-year-old Nazia Shaeen, on the other hand, is still a fugitive, and according to what the man told Pakistani police, is reportedly in Europe. Behind bars, there are also three of Saman’s relatives who were arrested in recent months abroad, in France and Spain: The uncle, 34-year-old Danish Hasnain, considered the material perpetrator of the homicide, and two cousins, Ikram Ijaz and Nomanhulaq Nomanhulaq , the former 28, the latter 35.
Previous posts about the honor killing of Saman Abbas: