The family of a City lawyer who was killed in her London home paid tribute today to a “young star” whose death was “a huge loss to society”.
Elizabeth Nnyanzi, 31, a former pupil at Cheltenham Ladies’ College who worked at leading City firm Herbert Smith Freehills, was found “unresponsive” by detective…s called to the £600,000 house in Harrow.
Neighbours said they were mystified and horrified by the killing which was discovered at 6pm on Friday.
Miss Nnyanzi, who studied medicine at Imperial College before switching to follow in her father’s footsteps as a lawyer, was described by friends as a “beautiful and talented” young woman.
She worked for a number of charities and was also said to be a keen singer who had been asked to perform in an opera at the Royal Albert Hall. A relative, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s horrible. She was a very young girl who was doing so well. I’m shocked because I have known her since she was a baby.
“She’s a lovely girl. So beautiful and doing very well. She was a very talented girl, a young star. It is a really big loss not just for the family but for society in general because she has always done good things for people. She did a lot of charity work and fundraising activities in general. We don’t know what happened. It’s the police’s job to find out. The best thing to do is wait for them to finish their investigation.”
A family friend said: “She was a really nice girl, such a lovely person with a beautiful smile. She was so intelligent and I know how proud of her her mother and father were.
“Its just a huge shock. We haven’t seen her family but we have sent a message of support. We just can’t believe it.”
A man said to be a friend of the victim has been arrested and was due to appear in court charged with her murder today.
Neighbours said Miss Nnyanzi had lived for more than 15 years with her mother, father and two sisters at the semi-detached family home in Northumberland Road.
Her mother, Coreen Nnyanzi, is a food technology teacher at Nower Hill School in Harrow where she is also in charge of child development.
One neighbour said: “Everyone knows her mother, she is one of the nicest teachers you will meet and taught a lot of the children around here. Our hearts go out to her and her family. It is a real shock.”
Neighbours described how police and emergency services descended on the house shortly before 6pm on Friday. The home and two adjacent properties remained cordoned off last night as detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command continued their investigation. One neighbour said: “We didn’t hear anything on Friday. It seems there wasn’t a disturbance or anything.
“Suddenly the street was just full of police and it has been that way ever since. There have been forensics going in and out of the house all day ever since.
“We are in the dark about what happened. The police just tell us a body was found. It’s such a quiet street here, nothing ever happens. We can’t believe it.
“They are a quiet family. They wave and say hello to people and that’s it. It’s unbelievable.”
Miss Nnyanzi had been working for only four months at Herbert Smith Freehills after completing an internship with law firm Leigh Day.
A spokesman for City law firm Herbert Smith Freehills said Miss Nnyanzi worked for the company as a temporary paralegal for about a month but her contract ended in June and she no longer worked for the law firm. The spokesman said : “We are shocked and very sorry to hear of this tragedy.”
Before embarking on her career Miss Nnyanzi had volunteered for Mulaga Hospital in Uganda, where her solicitor father Joseph had grown up. She also volunteered in 2005 at Freedom from Torture, a centre based in Finsbury Park with links to Amnesty International.
She was also part of the Model United Nations during her time at Imperial.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on on 0208 358 0400 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.
A 23-year-old BMW mechanic was last night charged with Miss Nnyanzi’s murder. Peter Kibisu, of Northumberland Road, Harrow, was appearing in custody at Hendon magistrates’ court this morning.
SOURCE – Evening Standard