Dec 20, 2018 News
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The mother of 18-year-old Vanessa Zaman, who was killed alongside another teen in Henrico County last week, says the man wanted for her murder is her father.
Abdool Zaman, who migrated from Guyana to the US, has been captured in New York, according to Henrico Police.
Zaman was wanted on two warrants of second-degree murder, but that those charges will likely be upgraded.
Police said Vanessa Zaman and Leona Samlall were shot as they walked near the Oakmeade Apartments on Airport Drive and East Nine Mile Road in Highland Springs around 12:17 p.m. Thursday. Investigators say Zaman got out of his car and confronted the girls before shooting them in what appeared to be a fit of rage, sources said.
Crime insider sources say Samlall was briefly on a missing persons list in 2016, but later showed up safe in the Orlando, Florida area.
Those sources said Samlall is believed to have returned home to Henrico after fleeing a rocky relationship.
Saveeda Barnes, who lives in New York, is devastated about the loss of her first born and only daughter, Vanessa, who she says reconnected with her father last year.
“Vanessa grew up under my love and care, until she was 18. Not too long ago, she researched and somehow found her dad. The two connected and were in contact for a while. Around late December, 2017, Vanessa and I spoke about selecting colleges. She told me that she was going to Florida. She invited her dad to her HS graduation where he turned her down,” said Barnes.
“Vanessa was loved more than she knew. Even though Vanessa seemed as though she had everything in the world, she still had an empty space in her heart a space that could never be filled (her dad, Abdool Z. Zaman),” Barnes added.
Barnes said her daughter, who was an award-winning writer, graduated in the top of her class at her Long Island, New York high school.
Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Superintendent of Amityville Union Free School District, provided CBS 6 with the following statement:
“The district is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Vanessa Zaman who graduated from Amityville High School in June 2018. Vanessa was actively involved in school, loved English and was a prolific writer. She was very well-liked by students and staff. She will truly be missed.
Support services are available for students and staff as they try to cope with this devastating loss.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”
“Vanessa was also a very smart girl and had a passion for writing,” said Vanessa’s best friend Nyah Seiferheld. “She would stay up many nights creating stories with her wild imagination. She was so hard working and had that ‘go getter’ mentality. She was always thinking of a way to better her life and take it to the next level.”
“Ness meant the world to me and for this to happen to her was the most devastating thing ever. She was such a sweet genuine person and always put her family and friends first,” said Seiferheld.
Vanessa Zaman leaves behind a 9-year-old step-sister and a two-year-old half-brother.
“Ness was definitely a well-loved person and we all miss her greatly. I just love her much more than she would ever know. She didn’t deserve what happened to her,” said Seiferheld.
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