Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Schoolgirl, 9, was 'stabbed to death while playing with sister' in Lincolnshire street
30 July 2022, 07:07 | Updated: 30 July 2022, 18:49
A nine-year-old schoolgirl was stabbed to death while playing in the street with her little sister just yards away from her mother, it has been claimed.
Listen to this article
Police launched a murder probe following the death of Lillia Valutyte, who was found in a quiet street in the town of Boston at around 6.20pm on Thursday evening.
Two people were arrested by Lincolnshire Police within a few hours of her being killed and have since been released.
They have released a number of CCTV images of a new suspect, a bearded man, who they wish to speak to in connection with the killing.
It is believed that Lillia, whose family were from Lithuania, was stabbed to death as she played with her little sister in Fountain Lane.
Their mother, Lina Savicke, worked on her tablet as she tried to keep a watchful eye over her girls, reports say.
One local woman told the Telegraph: "The little girl was playing in the street with her younger sister when it happened. They had some toys out.
"I'm sure her mum wouldn't have been far away as she always checked on them. She was a very quiet girl, and I just can't understand it."
The woman added: "I didn't see what happened, but we were told they were looking for footage of a man running away."
Devastated residents described seeing a discarded toy pram, understood to belong to Lillia's sibling, at the crime scene late on Thursday.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson said on Friday: "Officers were called to the scene of the incident at Fountain Lane, Boston, at around 6.20pm yesterday.
"A nine-year-old girl sadly died as a result of what we believe to be a stab wound.
"We have arrested two people in connection with the incident.
"We believe this to be an isolated incident. We are pursuing extensive lines of enquiry and have committed a number of resources to this investigation. You will see more officers patrolling the area, and we have a high number of specialist detectives who have been brought in to assist the investigation."
The statement added: "Her parents are being supported by specially trained officers at this very difficult time, and I can only imagine the grief and pain that they are going through. Their welfare and the welfare of those who she knew is a priority for us."
Police are understood to be trawling through CCTV of the area after a man was spotted running from the scene of the stabbing, The Telegraph reports.
A small tent was pictured at the scene on Friday morning as forensics officers collected evidence. Police said the area has been cordoned off and they will be at the scene for the ‘foreseeable future.’
It comes after 12-year-old Ava White was murdered by a teenager in Liverpool last November. He was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in jail.
Police said the incident is being treated as murder and cordoned off Fountain Lane. The local community was rocked by news of the girl’s death, with the Tory MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman saying people were in a state of "profound shock."
One local resident wrote on Facebook: “How many more of our children have to die before serious intervention takes place in this town?
"Why aren't the government and the councils doing more to make Boston a safe place to live when these diabolical news stories are far too frequent. This is a tragedy.”
Another resident said: “This is absolutely devastating and traumatic to read. Rest in peace little one, my thoughts go to all family and friends and thoughts to the officers involved as well as residents of Boston.
“How can we sleep at night knowing a 9 year old child has been murdered? Absolutely awful.”
At the scene late on Thursday night, a police car was stationed either side of an alleyway to cordon the area off to the public.
Two forensic officers in white suits could be seen working at the scene before leaving in the early hours of Friday morning.
A large object appeared to be covered in the middle of the alleyway, which was marked by small yellow signs.
The victim's parents have been informed, and the force said their "thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time".
"Her family will be supported by specialist trained officers," a short statement added.
Mr Warman, said he had been in contact with the policing minister to ensure national assistance is available to the murder investigation.
"Profoundly shocking news in Boston this evening," Mr Warman said.
"I have spoken to senior officers locally and am hugely grateful for all the emergency services' work.
"I have also been in contact with policing minister Tom Pursglove to ensure that any national help that might be useful is made available as quickly as possible."