A community is reeling after a nine-year-old died of suspected stab wounds in Lincolnshire.
Two people were arrested on Friday over the death of Lilia Valutyte, after a “profoundly shocking” attack in Boston town centre on Thursday evening.
Her family is being supported by specialist officers, Lincolnshire Police said, adding that their “thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time”.
Local residents spoke of their shock and fear at a suspected murder happening so close to home.
Another, posting on Facebook, commented: “How many more of our children have to die before serious intervention takes place in this town?”
The attack, involving one of the youngest knife crime victims in British history, has raised questions about the growing issue of stabbings impacting young people in the UK.
Ava White, 12, was killed at a Christmas lights switch-on
The 12-year-old schoolgirl from Liverpool was fatally stabbed in the neck by a 15-year-old boy in an attack that caused “shock and revulsion” in the city.
Ava was out in the city with friends following a Christmas lights switch-on event on a Thursday evening last November. A court heard Ava was “messing around” with her friends when a group of boys began filming them.
She approached the group telling them to stop and delete the footage before the 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, “thrust a knife” into the 12-year-old’s neck.
The boy was sentenced this month to a life sentence with a minimum of 13 years.
After he was sentenced, Leanne White, Ava’s mother, said: “The moment Ava died is now yesterday, tomorrow and forever. It is the past, the present and the future.
“It is not just one horrific moment in time that happened last whenever. It is not just the moment, the hour or second.”
Xing Duan Yuan, 5, found dead with his mother
Five-year-old Xing, was found with fatal stab wounds alongside his mother Yi Chen in Barnet, north London, in June this year.
The local community was shocked by the death in the leafy suburb, with one neighbour saying: “They seemed like a perfect family.
“We saw the mum taking her two boys to the local school every day. She was always smiley and we just cannot believe what had happened.”
Another resident added: “They are such low-key people in that house you wouldn’t know they were there. They are extremely private – the kids have been at local schools. We are devastated that this has happened in our community.”
A man was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in connection to the two deaths but was later released with no further action as officers said a post mortem examination provided important new information as to the nature of Ms Chen’s injuries, adding that nobody else was being sought in connection with the two deaths.