Couple guilty of murdering man whose body is yet to be found
A step-daughter and her boyfriend who lured a step-father to a flat before murdering him and disposing of his body in an unknown location have been convicted.
Surie Suksiri, 31, and her partner Juned Sheikh, 48, were both found guilty of murder and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body at the Old Bailey today.
Frank McKeever, Suksiri’s step-father, was last seen alive on Saturday, 28 August 2021 when he visited Suksiri at her Highbury flat in north London.
Apart from a few minutes in the late evening, when Mr McKeever was captured on CCTV leaving and returning to the flat with Sheikh, he had not been seen since. Evidence showed that he had not used his mobile phone, bank cards, Oyster card, or had any other contact with his family and friends.
In little more than an hour after his arrival at her flat, Suksiri shared a video on WhatsApp, which showed Mr McKeever making an apparent confession to sexually assaulting her when she was a young girl.
At the beginning of the video, Suksiri could be heard to say “start”, indicating that this was a video orchestrated and directed with her involvement.
Suksiri later pawned her step-father’s rings to pay for a car that was found and purchased by Sheikh, a vehicle they went on to use to transport his body to an unknown location.
Mr McKeever’s disappearance raised concern with people he was due to meet in early September. By 9 September, these people were so concerned that they reported him missing to the police.
During the course of the investigation into the disappearance, it came to light that there may well have been a disagreement between Mr McKeever and the defendants about his council house, and whether Mr McKeever would swap his residence with another family member.
Further, when police were called to Suksiri flat in an unrelated matter later in September 2021, body-worn video recorded by the attending police officers heard Sheikh calling Suksiri a murderer and threatening that he would tell the police what had happened to her step-father.
All of this evidence suggested something had happened to Mr McKeever, but it was an undercover police operation that finally proved he had been murdered by Suksiri and Sheikh.
Suksiri admitted to an undercover police officer that she had been involved with his death and effectively claimed that she was the mastermind, telling Sheikh what to do and being careful to avoid leaving forensic evidence behind.
Emma Currie, from the CPS, said: “Whether Frank McKeever’s death was in retribution for alleged unlawful sexual activity, or whether it was really over his council house is something we might never know for certain, but what we do know is that Surie Suksiri and Juned Sheikh killed him in a calculated and cold-hearted way.
“What makes this case even more shocking is that Suksiri and Sheikh both know where they disposed of Mr McKeever’s body but have so far declined to help police.
“It must be agonising for Mr McKeever’s family to have been prevented from paying their final respects to him and are left dealing with his loss without really knowing what happened to him.
“I hope that today’s verdict will at least provide Frank McKeever’s family and friends with a feeling that justice has been delivered.”
Suksiri and Sheikh will be sentenced on Monday, 20 November 2023.
Notes to editors
- Surie Suksiri (DOB: 6/11/1991) is from Highbury in the borough of Islington in north London.
- Juned Sheikh (DOB: 9/3/1975) is from Camberwell in the borough of Southwark in south London.
- Emma Currie is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the London Homicide unit in CPS London North.