Police are hunting a knifeman who stabbed two sisters to death in a London park amid fears he could strike again.
The family of Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, have spoken of the “devastating impact” of their loss after the women were stabbed in Fryent Country Park, off Slough Lane in Wembley, after meeting friends there on 5 June to celebrate Ms Henry’s birthday.
Police have released photographs of the women taken shortly before their deaths and found on their mobile phones as detectives continue to hunt for their killer.
Appealing for information, the Met Police has said detectives “always have a fear” the killer could strike again.
Paying tribute to Ms Smallman and Ms Henry, their parents said: “The greatest fear of any parent is that they will outlive their children.
“What makes our situation unique is that two adored sisters were murdered together on the same night.
“The grief we feel is palpable, our beautiful and talented daughters gone.”
They said despite a large age gap the sisters shared many of the same interests, including the arts.
Ms Henry, from Brent in north-west London, was described as an “exceptional” senior social worker and “a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families”, whose smile “would put Blackpool Illuminations to shame”.
Ms Smallman, from Harrow in north-west London, was “a strong advocate for humanitarian causes and saving our planet” and someone who “saw beauty in everything”, they said.
They added: “Bibaa and Nicole were sisters whose untimely deaths we will spend the rest of our lives trying to come to terms with.
“The pain we feel as a family is so deep no words can express how we are feeling.”
Police said Ms Henry and Ms Smallman had enjoyed the celebration throughout the evening and ended up alone in the park by around 12.30am.
Their last contact with friends and family was about 1.05am and they were said to have been in “good spirits” and “taking selfie pictures, listening to music and dancing with fairy lights” until at least 1.13am.
Their bodies were found next to each other shortly after 1pm on June 7, with a post-mortem examination revealing they both died from multiple stab wounds. Police have since found items belonging to them at the scene, including recovering their mobile phones from a pond.
It is believed the suspect left the park via its Valley Drive entrance and is thought to have suffered a “significant injury” during the incident.
They have asked anyone with any information, including anyone who knows someone in the area with an unexplained injury, particularly to their hands, to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, who is leading the double murder investigation, said the “much-loved sisters” were “surrounded by friends and family and it’s unimaginable what they are going through”.
“For their sake and the sake of the wider community we need to identify and apprehend the suspect as soon as possible. And we need help from the public to do that.”
He previously said detectives “always have a fear” that the murderer could strike again.
A 36-year-old man arrested in south London on suspicion of murder was released with no further action.