News State Victoria News Vigil held for murdered toddler Sanaya Sahib

Vigil held for murdered toddler Sanaya Sahib

Sanaya's mother said the toddler was stolen from a pram by a stranger.
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An emotional vigil has been held for a toddler who was found dead in a Melbourne creek as the search for her killer enters a third day.

The body of 15-month-old Sanaya Sahib was found in Darebin Creek, Heidelberg West, in the early hours of Sunday.

The girl’s mother, Sofina Nikat, 22, said the girl was snatched from a pram by a stranger in Olympic Park at about 10am on Saturday.

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The Heidelberg United soccer club, which is based at Olympic Park, held a minute’s silence before their match against Port Melbourne.

Mourners lay flowers at creek where toddler's body was found
Mourners lay flowers at creek where toddler’s body was found. Photo: ABC

Sanaya’s family members, including her grandmother, attended the match.

“[I’m here] just to pay respect to my beautiful granddaughter, who’s no longer with us today,” Sanaya’s grandmother Zureen Sahib said.

“It’s been very stressful for all of us.”

Heidelberg FC’s captain Luke Byles dedicated his team’s win to Sanaya and her family.

“We’d like to dedicate this win to Sanaya Sahib … our wishes are with her family,” he said after the match.

Police yesterday said a post-mortem examination would be carried out on the toddler’s body, but no details have been released.

Ms Nikat said the man pushed her to the ground before taking the toddler and running off in south-westerly direction on the eastern side of Darebin Creek.

Police said the attacker was described as being barefoot with dark skin and aged between 20 and 30.

He was wearing black pants and a black zipper top, and smelled heavily of alcohol.

Police would not comment on whether CCTV cameras seen in the park captured Sanaya’s final moments or her getting snatched from a pram.

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