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'Our hearts are broken': Family of girl, 15, stabbed to death in Croydon pay tribute to 'bright and funny' daughter
28 September 2023, 14:14 | Updated: 28 September 2023, 14:32
The family of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death in Croydon have said their "hearts are broken" in a new tribute.
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Her family have described Elianne, an aspiring lawyer, as "bright and funny" and said they are heartbroken by her "senseless death".
“Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter," a family statement reads.
"Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her. She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.
“All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family. We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child."
Elianne is known to have been very close with her brother, who is going to be lost without his big sister, a family friend has said.
"It's just really sad. She was such a lovely little girl. I'm a parent myself," Croydon resident Adama Dumbuya, 30, said.
"She was just really lovely the few times I've met her. She's just a very nice girl and very polite.
"She helped a lot to look after her brother. I just can't imagine what he is going to be like. She had a little brother.
"I know they were so close. She always looked after him. He is going to be so heartbroken."
Witnesses have said the attacker tried to give flowers to his ex-girlfriend on a bus, but they were rejected, and the victim was then stabbed in the neck after she stepped in to protect her friend.
A teenager, 17, has been arrested and is being questioned by police.
Family members, friends and Croydon residents have been gathering near where Elianne died, with one tribute left at the scene reading: “Sorry we live in this crazy world this makes no sense.
“Fly high up there my mummy will look after you. RIP beautiful, forever young, taken too soon.
“Thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends, God bless.”
Another tribute added: “This is so sad. She had her whole life ahead of her and it was taken by a man because she rejected him. Rest in peace angel.”
A third said: “May she rest in piece, I am so sorry that this world is so cruel.”
Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley described Elianne's death as "senseless".
After visiting the scene of the attack on Wednesday, he said: "It was moving and humbling to meet many members of the exceptional Croydon community who have come together in support of a family now dealing with the most unimaginable grief.
"The commitment of so many from the local community is inspiring. A powerful partnership between charitable groups, faith and community leaders, the local authority, the wider public and our officers has delivered so much work across the borough.