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Police hunt hotel murder suspect

Police have released a new image of a "dangerous" murder suspect they are hunting after a woman was found dead in a hotel room, as detectives look into whether the pair met online.

The body of Nadine Aburas, 28, was discovered by staff at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff on New Year's Eve.

South Wales Police say they are treating the death as murder and want to trace suspect Sammy Almahri, an American national from New York City.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley appealed for the public's help to find him and said: "I consider this man to be a dangerous individual and would advise that any knowledge of his location or sightings of him are reported immediately to the authorities - and he is not to be approached."

Det Supt Hurley said Ms Aburas and Almahri had a "friendship" and had known each for about three years.

Asked whether they met online, he told the South Wales Echo: "All I can say is they have communicated through whatever means - telephone, email - and there has also been a visit to New York. All those lines of inquiry are being followed."

Almahri, 44, who has distinctive injuries to his face from an unrelated incident, is now believed to be in Tanzania, police have said.

The suspect checked into the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff Bay on December 30 before Ms Aburas arrived at around 9pm that evening.

He then left the building at about 3am on New Year's Eve and took a flight from Heathrow to Bahrain at 10.30am.

Mr Hurley added: "The hotel was busy with people who were in the city to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve. People will have seen them together, or on their own, and I would urge them to come forward.

"While we have not yet made any arrests, we have a team of officers who are trying to trace Sammy Almahri, and now believe he is in Tanzania.

"We have been working closely with our counterparts in both NYPD and police officers in Tanzania. From our inquiries we have discovered that Almahri is very resourceful and has access to funds, which may further assist his evasion from law enforcement agencies."

A post-mortem examination has been completed but a cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Ms Aburas's family paid tribute to her as a "lovely, bubbly girl and unique and talented woman".

In a statement, they said: "She always wanted to help people and everybody loved her. She has left such a massive hole in our family and we will miss her so much. The family respectfully request that they be left to grieve privately."

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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