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Autopsy: Shabana was strangled

Published: 
Saturday, January 10, 2015

Shabana Mohammed, the 19-year-old woman from Santa Cruz, whose decomposing body was recovered near her home on Thursday—five days after she was reported missing, was strangled. Mohammed, a sales coordinator at a shipping company in Woodbrook, took her dying breath while lying face-down in drain where her attacker dumped her body after crushing almost all the bones in her neck with his bare hands.

The details of Mohammed’s final moments were revealed by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov after he performed an autopsy on her body at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday. “She was placed into the drain unconscious but still breathing. She made a couple terminal inhalations because I found dirt in her air passages,” Alexandrov said. 

Alexandrov revealed that Mohammed’s mother and father identified her from her waist-length black and blond hair as she was not visibly recognisable due to the advanced state of decomposition. Alexandrov could not determine whether the teenager had been sexually assaulted. “I don’t think that after five days the sperm could survive, but we did a rape kit and took vaginal swabs,” Alexandrov said. 

Alexandrov concluded Mohammed died on Saturday, effectively dispelling the police’s theory that her body was dumped there between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Mohammed’s relatives, who spoke extensively with media on her disappearance earlier this week, were too distraught to speak after witnessing the autopsy.  

According to reports, around 7.30 am on Saturday, Mohammed’s relatives left her home alone. When they returned several hours later she was missing and an area of the house had been ransacked. Her clothing including a pair of urine soaked underwear was found in the house. Relatives reported her missing after neighbours said they heard screams coming from the house and Mohammed’s cellphone went unanswered.

Homicide detectives have already identified a person of interest in the crime—a male friend of Mohammed. 

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