The suspect was arrested over the weekend and will appear in court on Tuesday, police said in a statement.
Nessa, 28, was killed last Friday as she walked the short distance from her home in south-east London to a local pub where she was planning to meet friends. She never arrived.
Her body was discovered in a nearby park the following day, triggering a murder investigation.
Police said the suspect was arrested in the coastal town of Eastbourne, about 100 kilometers south-east of London, in the early hours of Sunday.
Residents of Nessa’s borough, Kidbrooke, a quiet suburb of London about 20 minutes by train from central London, have been shocked by the killing in their communities.
Nessa’s sister Jebina Yasmin Islam appeared on the Kidbrooke vigil and talked about the pain of losing her sibling and described her sister as a “brilliant” woman.
“We have lost an amazing sister far too soon … Sabina loved her family. We have lost our sister, my parents lost their daughter and my girls have lost such a brilliant, loving and caring aunt,” Islam said.
“It feels like we’re stuck in a bad dream and we can’t get out of it,” she added.
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, also paid tribute to Nessa in a Twitter post on Friday, saying she was “saddened by the loss of another innocent young woman on our streets.”
Gender epidemic of violence
“It’s just an endless cycle of violence against women, and it’s really depressing,” Jamie Klingler, one of the co-founders of the Reclaim These Streets campaign group, told CNN.
The group was formed after the assault and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in March. Everard disappeared after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3, and her disappearance sparked a stream across social media from women sharing their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment. A metropolitan police officer later pleaded guilty to murdering her.
Klingler said the killing of Nessa showed that nothing has changed in the six months since Everard was killed in March. “Violence against women is not [in] the three main priorities for any police department in England or Wales. We do not even rank. No one takes this seriously, ”she said.
In July, the British government unveiled a new plan to tackle violence against women and girls. But the campaigns have said it does not go far enough. Refuge, a charity that helps women who are victims of domestic violence, said the plan did not provide adequate funding and missed an opportunity to get real change in place.
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