Horrifying new details surrounding the death of a nine-year-old schoolgirl emerged this morning as it was claimed she had been playing in the street with her sister, five, just yards away from their mother before tragedy struck.
Lilia Valutyte, whose family were from Lithuania, was found on a quiet lane in Boston at around 6.20pm on Thursday – with locals left in ‘profound shock’ and the local MP appealing for national assistance to catch the killer.
It is believed little Lilia was playing with her younger sister at the time of the appalling attack, as their mother, Lina Savicke, worked on her tablet as she tried to keep a watchful eye over her girls.
The nine-year-old died after suffering a single stab wound on a quaint high street lane, just outside a recruitment agency that Ms Savicke had worked for. Lincolnshire Police declined to comment on whether they believe the attack was linked to her role there.
Devastated residents described seeing a discarded toy pram, understood to belong to Lilia’s sibling, at the crime scene late on Thursday.
Others said Ms Savicke had been spent several months working from a desk near to the murder scene and had often let the children play outside as it was usually ‘a quiet street’.
The spot is just a 15-minute walk from the family home and near to premises where the mother had links to a business.
One source told the Sun: ‘I think they had a hula-hoop and dolly’s pushchair. I’m sure she [Ms Savicke] would have been inside’.
Heartbreaking pictures of the schoolgirl in happier times that emerged on Friday show the little girl smiling as well as one image in which she is seen wearing wings and celebrating her eighth birthday with a huge balloon.
One local resident said they had seen an overturned doll’s pushchair on the side of the road as emergency services rushed to the scene after the attack.
Locals were left in ‘profound shock’ and with the area’s MP appealing for national assistance to catch the killer.
One devastated man spoke for the community as he pleaded ‘She was just a little girl, how could anyone do this to a nine-year-old?’
Police were this morning still quizzing two men in connection with the killing of little Lilia, with police describing the stabbing as an ‘isolated’ incident.
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 local woman told the newspaper: ‘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.’
A small tent was pictured at the murder scene near the town’s historic St Botolph’s Church as forensic officers bagged up evidence earlier yesterday.
A large object appeared to be covered in the middle of the alleyway, which was marked by small yellow signs.
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Lilia Valutyte (pictured)was found on a quiet lane in Boston at around 6.20pm on Thursday. Two people remain in custody in connection with her death, police say
Two people were arrested yesterday morning in connection with the death of Lilia (pictured), with police describing the stabbing as an ‘isolated’ incident
The death of the nine-year-old girl, whose family were from Lithuania, has locals left in ‘profound shock’ and the local MP appealing for national assistance to catch her killer
Police have said Lilia’s parents are being supported by specially trained officers ‘at this very difficult time’ and that their welfare is the force’s priority
A forensic officer near the scene in Boston earlier today as a police cordon remains in place following the stabbing at around 6.20pm on Thursday
A forensic officer near the scene in Boston today where Lilia died on Thursday evening from a suspected single stab wound
A woman leaves flowers near to the scene yesterday after the tragic death. Police said they are giving support to Lilia’s family
Police launch murder probe after girl’s death
Kate Anderson, chief superintendent of Lincolnshire Police spoke to the media this morning following the shocking killing.
She said: ‘This incident has shocked our community in Boston, and I would like to reassure the community that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to progress the investigation and to support the family.
‘It is a wide ongoing investigation and there is only so much I can tell people. But what I can offer is the reassurance that we are putting our very best detectives on this.
‘We have a number of neighbourhood officers out speaking to members of the community. and we do have dedicated resources focusing all their efforts on bring the offenders to justice.
‘At this moment in time it is too early to speculate on what charges may or may not be brought. I would say we are absolutely committed to finding those people responsible and holding them to account.
‘Lincolnshire is incredibly safe. I know there have been incidents in the past and people must be concerned and I can only empathise with that.
‘The investigation is ongoing and we have a number of lines of inquiry which are actively being pursued.
‘What we want is the people responsible to be held to account. For the integrity of the investigation, we are only sharing information we can do.
‘We are open minded about what happened, but we still do think there is more information the public can give us which is why we are appealing for witnesses
‘People might have been driving through the area and have dashcam footage.’
When asked about a possible motive, she said ‘t’s very early and I would not want to speculate.’
She added: ‘We are treating it with the utmost seriousness. People have been working tirelessly on the investigation throughout the night.
‘The fact that we have two people in custody has not stopped other inquiries. It is a fast paced investigation. It is a sad day for Lincolnshire and Boston.
‘It is utterly shocking that such a young girl has been murdered.’
The killing comes less than two years after Roberts Buncis, 12, was stabbed more than 70 times by a teenager in a frenzied attack in the same market town. In 2016 Boston had the highest murder rate of any comparable town in England and Wales.
It follows a wave of stabbings in London that saw three people killed in less than 24 hours and another victim badly injured.
Last November Ava White, 12, was murdered by a teenager in Liverpool after going into the city to watch the Christmas lights being switched on.
The father of murdered Roberts showed his support for Lilia’s family as he asked: ‘What is wrong with this world, what is wrong with Boston?’ Edgar Buncis added: ‘I would tell you thousands of words but don’t know what to say. Be strong, love those who you have.’
Among the residents paying their respects at the scene was Arthur Smith, 66, who said: ‘It is just so shocking. When I was growing up, you could never imagine something like this happening.’
Mother of four Fiona Raynor, 49, said: ‘It is just horrendous that a little girl can be stabbed to death in the street in broad daylight.
‘I feel awful for her family. This has broken my heart.’
The UK is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic, with the latest figures for England and Wales showing offences involving knives are up by 10 per cent compared to the previous year.
This weekend saw a wave of stabbings in London that saw three people killed in less than 24 hours and another badly injured.
Horrifically, this is not the first time children have become victims of fatal stabbings in Britain, with 12-year-old Ava White murdered by a teenager in Liverpool last November. He was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in jail.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson said today: ‘Officers were called to the scene of the incident at Fountain Lane, Boston, at around 6.20pm on Thursday.
‘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.
‘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 cordoned off Fountain Lane, a street that backs onto Boston’s Grade II listed old court building The Sessions House.
A forensic tent could also be seen erected in the street while officers combed for clues at the scene which is also in the shadow of historic St Botolph’s Church
Lilia’s body was found outside MS Agricultural Services along a quiet lane next to quaint cobbled streets lined with cafes and coffee shops.
Much of the nearby area is commercial, with car parks, a high street and several boarded-up shops, but the street also runs alongside the end of a residential road.
The local community was in a state of shock as they came to terms with the tragic news late on Thursday evening, with heartbroken residents calling it the ‘most shocking tragedy ever to befall’ the town.
Arthur Smith, 66, who knelt down to say a prayer at the scene said: ‘It is just so shocking. A poor little angel has lost her life. I feel so sorry for her and her parents.
‘Whoever did it should be locked up for life – and I mean life. When I was growing up, you could never imagine something like this happening.’
Mother-of-four Fiona Raynor, 49, who works as a pub cleaner, said: ‘This has broken my heart. I can’t imagine what could have gone on.
Two people were arrested this morning in connection with the killing. A small tent has been pictured at the murder scene near the town’s historic St Botolph’s Church as forensic officers bagged up evidence
An aerial view showing police at the scene of the stabbing in Boston, with a forensic tent seen behind a cordon
The UK is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic, with the latest figures for England and Wales showing offences involving knives are up by 10 per cent compared to the previous year
‘It is just horrendous that a little girl can be stabbed to death in the street in broad daylight. I feel awful for her family.’
Other residents said they had seen armed police in nearby streets last night as police launched their investigation into the death of the girl.
Mother-of-two Sara Stringer, 37, said: ‘I saw armed officers and three police cars with blue flashing lights.
‘I couldn’t believe it when I heard that a little girl had been killed. It is disgusting.’
Taxi driver Jonathan Newton, 55, said: ‘We are a close knit community here and the town is rocked to the core by this tragedy.
‘She was just a little girl, how could anyone do this to a nine-year-old? It’s the most shocking tragedy to ever befall our little town. I’m just speechless.’
Another local resident, who did not want to be named, added: ‘We’re not sure what happened but its a quiet lane so I can’t imagine too many people saw it.
‘There are businesses though with CCTV cameras so I just pray whoever did this is caught fast. My heart is breaking for that girl’s parents.
‘I’ve seen people who don’t even know the family in floods of tears today.’
Emergency services rushed to the scene in Boston, Lincolnshire, at around 6.20pm on Thursday evening. The victim was today named as Lilia Valutyte (Pictured: Scene of horror killing on Friday morning)
Among the tributes left near the scene is a purple teddy bear. Police say they have arrested two people in connection with the incident
A written tribute left to Lilia, who tragically died on Thursday night. It read: ‘So sorry this cruel world has taken your life beautiful girl. May you be in the arms of the angels xxx’
Figures reveal how knife crime rate has shot up
Last week it emerged police forces in England and Wales had recorded the highest number of offences in 20 years, driven by a sharp rise in fraud, rape and violent attacks.
A total of 6.3million crimes were recorded in the year to March 2022 — four per cent higher than the previous all-time high of 6.1million in 2019/20.
It was also up 16 per cent on 2020/21, when crime levels were affected by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The figures, which were published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed knife crime, theft and domestic abuse all increased in the 12 months to March.
Police-recorded offences of fraud and computer misuse rose 17 per cent, from 828,364 in 2020/21 to 965,162 in 2021/22.
Knife crime rose by 10 per cent to 49,027 offences in the year to March, compared to 44,642 in the previous 12 months — though this is below the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20, which saw 55,078 offences.
The Tory MP for Boston and Skegness, Matt 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,’ he said. ‘I have spoken to senior officers locally and am hugely grateful for all the emergency services’ work.’
Many spoke of their shock and fear at a suspected murder happening so close to home, while one resident was left to openly ask if the area remain safe for her children.
Another, posting on Facebook, commented: ‘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.’
A third added: ‘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.’
Edgar Buncis, whose young son Roberts was murdered in Boston nearly two years ago, has told how the schoolgirl’s family will be going through ‘hell’ as he urged them to ‘be strong.’
Roberts was stabbed more than 70 times in a frenzied attack just days before his 13th birthday. Marcel Grzeszcz, 15, was convicted of Roberts’ murder and jailed for a minimum of 16 years last November.
Today Mr Buncis has today begged for answers after the latest tragedy.
He said: ‘Dear family, you will go through the hell, be strong, take any help you can get.
‘My son was stabbed to death 12/12/2020 and I still live with that and think it never will end. It’s so sad.
‘Where are we going, what is wrong with this world, what is wrong with Boston … I would tell you thousands of words but don’t know what to say … be strong, love those who you have.’
Forensic teams were working the scene on Fountain Lane (pictured) overnight and early on Friday morning
Home Office figures from 2016 found the port town of Boston, a market town in Lincolnshire, was the murder capital of England and Wales (Pictured: Scene on Fountain Lane)
Mr Warman said in a statement posted on Twitter: ‘Profoundly shocking news in Boston this evening, 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’
A nine-year-old girl has died from a suspected stab wound in Lincolnshire. Pictured: Forensic analysts mark out the crime scene
A police officer collects bags of evidence after a girl, aged nine, died from a suspected stab wound in Boston
The leader of Boston Borough Council, Paul Skinner, said: ‘The town is united in mourning following the very sad and tragic death of a nine-year-old girl in Boston.
‘We can’t for one second imagine the pain the family and the young girl’s friends are going through and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.
‘I would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response and I would encourage anyone with any information to make contact with the police on 101.
‘Lincolnshire Police has launched a murder inquiry and Boston Borough Council is working closely with officers as part of the investigation, including the sharing of CCTV footage from the area.
‘I understand this incident has left many people shocked and worried. As a council, we remain committed to working with our partners to make Boston a safer community for all.’
As a sign of respect to the family of the girl, the council will fly a flag from the Municipal Buildings at half-mast, Mr Skinner said.
Home Office figures from 2016 found Boston was the murder capital of England and Wales.
Boston came top of a list of the local authorities with the most cases of murder, attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder per 100,000 people.
There was a rate of 15 murderous crimes per 100,000 people up to September 2015 – ranking as the highest per person average in England and Wales and rivalling huge cities such as Birmingham or London.
And the overall crime rate in the town for 2021 was recorded as 100 crimes per 1,000 people, making it among the most dangerous in Lincolnshire.
The chilling number of child murders in the UK in the last year
Ava White – 25 November 2021
Ava White (right) was just 12 years old when she was stabbed to death in Liverpool City Centre in November last year.
The school girl had been near to the Royal Court Theatre with a group of friends to watch the Christmas lights switch-on.
But she was stabbed by a 14-year-old boy after an argument about him filming her.
As she went towards him to get him to delete the footage he lashed out with a knife, stabbing her in the neck.
She died shortly afterwards in hospital.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 13 years.
Zaian Aimable-Lina – 30 December 2021
Zaian Aimable-Lina, 15, (below) suffered three stab wounds in Ashburton Park in Croydon, south London.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard said: ‘My thoughts continue to be with Zaian’s family and friends as they cope with this tragic loss. My team are continuing to work around the clock so that we can give Zaian’s family the answers they deserve.
‘Zaian’s death has sent shockwaves through the local community and London as a whole. He was just 15- years-old and had his whole life ahead of him and we need the community to work with us to bring those responsible to justice. No matter how insignificant you may think it, if you have information that can help, you must do the right thing and contact us immediately.’
Kennie Carter – 22 January 2022
Officers were called to Thirlmere Avenue, in Stretford, to reports a boy had been found with stab injuries. He was later named locally as Kennie Carter.
Kennie (right) was treated by paramedics but died later in hospital. A total of five teenagers were arrested on suspicion of murder.
Close family friend Beckiee Carol-Jadee McCabe, said: ‘I grew up with his family, my family are very close with his, they are like family to me.
‘I’m absolutely heartbroken. That such a beautiful young soul has been taken far too soon at the age 16, he was such a quiet boy growing up wouldn’t do any harm to no one.
‘Loved by so many people It’s so devastating that he’s had to lose his life, because of knife crime, He’s going to be deeply missed by all that knew Kennie.
‘There will always be a place in my heart for him.’
Jakub Szymanski – 9 June 2022
Jakub Szymanski (right) was branded a ‘hero’ who ‘fought for his family’ after stepping in to to save his mother, Katarzyna Bastek, who was left ‘seriously injured’ following an attack in Miles Platting, Manchester.
A 44-year-old man was arrested some 250 miles away in Kent on suspicion of murder.
A person close to Jakub, who is believed to be one of four brothers, told the MEN: ‘There’s not a chance that boy isn’t a hero. Everyone here knew him for being kind and respectful.
‘He was quiet, but he was a protector. He fought for his family.
‘He was an amazing person, he was a hero and he should be remembered as one.’
Detective Chief Inspector Alicia Smith, from GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: ‘A teenage boy who had his whole life ahead of him has tragically lost his life and not only is his mother grieving at the loss of her son, but she is also recovering from what will have been no doubt, hugely traumatic.’
David-Mario Lazar – 25 January 2022
Five year old David-Mario Lazar was killed while in the care of one of the people meant to look after him – his grandmother.
The young boy had been staying with Elena Anghel at her home in Earlsdon, Coventry when he was attacked.
The ‘beautiful’ child was found severely injured and died as a result of a stab wound.
Anghel, 49, was initially arrested but has since been detained under the Mental Health Act.
David-Mario’s parents paid tribute to him, calling him a ‘happy boy’ who was ‘always smiling’.
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