A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a nine-year-old girl was stabbed to death as she ‘played in the street with her sister’.
Lillia Valutyte tragically died after the incident in Boston, Lincolnshire. Police earlier confirmed two people had been arrested, but both have since been released with ‘no further action’.
The youngster is understood to have been playing outside with her five-year-old sister when the horrific attack took place near a cafe where their mum worked.
She was knifed at around 6.20pm on Thursday night, sparking a huge manhunt for her attacker.
In a statement on the latest arrest this afternoon, police said: “We have arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of murder. He is now in police custody. Officers detained the man in the Boston Central Park area at around 2.45pm today (30 July).
“The arrest follows a combination of intelligence and information supplied by several members of the public. We’d like to thank everyone for their assistance as we continue our investigation.
“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. There will continue to be a significant police presence in the town while our investigation progresses.”
A resident from the area 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.
“I didn’t see what happened, but we were told they (police) were looking for footage of a man running away.”
Another local resident described the tragedy as a “parent’s worst nightmare” and Lillia’s mum has been name as a recruitment agency boss called Lina, according to The Sun.
The report added she had been watching her girls play through the window of the cafe as she worked and was first to the scene after the stabbing.
A local told The Sun: “Her mum had a business inside. She worked from a desk on her laptop and had been doing it for a couple of months.
“It’s only a quiet street so she would let them play outside.
“I think they had a hula-hoop and dolly’s pushchair. I’m sure she would have been inside.”
Following the stabbing, a doll’s pushchair could be seen lying in the road next to paramedic’s equipment.
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. It’s the most shocking tragedy to ever befall our little town.
“I’m just speechless.”
East Area Commander Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson previously said: “Our thoughts continue to be with Lillia’s family and friends.
“If any members of the public have information that might assist, please call 101 quoting incident 419 of 28th July, or they can report anonymously via Crimestoppers.”