This is the first photo of a nine-year-old girl who was stabbed to death while playing with a toy stroller in a quiet lane last night.
Two people have been arrested after the body of baby Lilia Valutyte turned up in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Forensic officers set up an evidence tent in Fountain Lane after the tragedy unfolded around 6.20pm.
Lincolnshire Police have since launched a murder investigation – and this morning confirmed two arrests in connection with the horrific discovery.
In an update this afternoon, East Zone Commander Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson said, “Our thoughts continue to be with Lilia’s family and friends, and if any members of the public have any information that might help, please call 101 quoting Incident 419 of July 28, or they can report anonymously via Crimestoppers.”
Speaking to reporters near the police cordon at the scene this morning, the senior officer described Lilia’s death as a ‘total tragedy’.
She said: “A nine-year-old girl died from what we believe was the result of a stab wound. We have arrested two people in connection with the incident.
“We believe this is an isolated incident and we are continuing to investigate thoroughly and have committed a number of resources to this investigation.”
She added that a “high number of specialist detectives” were called in to help with the investigation.
But the chief commissioner declined to say whether those arrested were adults or minors, and did not confirm what offense they were suspected of.
She said: “We have a number of active lines of inquiry.
“It would be unfair for me to speculate on potential motives.”
Heartbroken residents expressed their horror at the “most shocking tragedy to ever strike their town”, with many locals leaving floral tributes near the scene.
A bouquet of pink roses left nearby read, “So sorry this cruel world cost you your life, beautiful girl.
“May you be in the arms of the angels.”
Taxi driver Jonathan Newton, 55, said: “We are a very tight-knit community here and the city is deeply shaken by this tragedy.
‘JUST A LITTLE GIRL’
“She was just a little girl, how could someone do this to a nine year old?
“This is the most shocking tragedy that has ever struck our small town. I am just speechless.”
Another local resident, who did not wish to be named, added: “I just pray whoever did this is caught quickly. My heart breaks for this girl’s parents.
“I saw people who don’t even know the family cry today.”
A business owner who cut the victim’s hair just days ago said: ‘It’s just a bad joke.
“She was so small. I cut her hair only a few days ago.
“There is no humanity left in this place – none. For anyone to do this is inhuman.
She was just a little girl, how could anyone do that to a nine year old?
Someone else added: ‘This is beyond a parent’s worst nightmare.’
A fifth said: ‘Scary scary world. Stops you from letting your kids go out and play.’
Cops say the tragic victim’s family has been notified of his death and will be supported by officers.
And the tragedy follows a weekend of bloodshed in London, where three people were killed in less than 24 hours, and another seriously injured.
It is not the first time a young girl has been stabbed to death in Britain, with the horrific murder of Ava White, 12, who was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old boy, who was place in Liverpool last November.
Home Office figures from 2016 revealed that the port city of Boston was then the murder capital of England and Wales.
It topped a list of local authorities with the highest number of cases of murder, attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder per 100,000 people, Mail Online reports.
“PARENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE”
A father, whose 12-year-old son Roberts Buncis was stabbed to death in the area two years ago, demanded answers this morning.
Addressing loved ones of Boston’s latest victim, he said: “Dear family, you will be through hell, be strong, take all the help you can get.
“My son was stabbed to death on 12/12/2020 and I’m still living with it and I don’t think it will ever end. It’s so sad.
“Where are we going, what’s wrong with this world, what’s wrong with Boston…I’ll tell you a thousand words but I don’t know what to say…be strong, love the ones you have.”
Meanwhile, Matt Warman MP, for Boston and Skegness, said his thoughts were with the girl’s family.
He said: “Deeply shocking news in Boston tonight. My thoughts are with the family of the girl involved – if you have any information that could help the police in their ongoing investigation, please use the contact details below.
“I have spoken to senior officers locally and am extremely grateful for all the work of the emergency services.”
He added: “I would ask people to refrain from speculating while this extremely important police investigation is ongoing.
“It is vital that those responsible are brought to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident 419 of July 28.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can report it via the independent charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.