CCTV clue to mother-to-be's killer

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The Independent Online

Detectives hunting the murderer of mother-to-be Nikitta Grender want to trace four people captured on CCTV who might hold vital clues to the killing.

The heavily pregnant teenager, 19, was found dead in the bedroom of her burnt-out flat in Broadmead Park, Liswerry, Newport, south Wales, on February 5. What appeared to be a tragic accident rapidly turned into a murder investigation when police revealed she had been stabbed twice.

Miss Grender and boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 18, moved to the flat six months ago and had decorated a room in preparation for the birth of daughter Kelsey-May.

Yesterday police arrested a 26-year-old man on suspicion of murder. Today police were granted an extra 12 hours to question him.

Two knives during an exhaustive search of the estate have been sent away for forensic examination.

Now police believe four members of the public captured on CCTV on the night of the murder may possess vital evidence in the case.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: "Officers investigating the murder of 19-year-old Nikitta Grender want to trace four people captured on CCTV from in and around Broadmead Park, Moorland Park and Pontfaen areas.

"The members of the public were captured on CCTV in the early hours of the morning on Saturday February 5, the day Nikitta's body was discovered, and could hold vital information. Police would like them to get in touch as they may have seen something relevant to the investigation."

The four potentially vital witnesses are being asked to come forward if they recognise themselves in the images issued by the police.

The first, taken from the back of Moorland Park Community Centre, shows a couple walking towards the bridge between Moorland Park and Broadmead Park at 3.41am.

The second, taken at the same location almost two hours later, shows a man, possibly carrying a bag with a reflective strip on it.

A third image shows a man walking along Fosse Road, in Pontfaen at 5.59am.

A spokesman said: "Police are continuing to search for a weapon, believed to be a knife. Forensic work is continuing to establish the type of knife.

"Police have arrested, and are currently questioning, a 26-year-old man from the Newport area on suspicion of murder.

"Officers remain at the scene. Searches are continuing in and around the estate.

"Searches are continuing at two out of six premises searched, located across the city. House to house inquiries are continuing and forensic analysis is also continuing."

He added: "CCTV is just one line of inquiry we are following.

"These people captured could have important information for us, may have seen something that to them is irrelevant, however, it could be a vital piece of information we need.

"We are continuing with forensic analysis and house to house. We are grateful for the help we are being given from the local community, however we still need people who knew Nikitta, who have been to her flat and for people who have private CCTV in the area of Broadmead Park, Moorland Park and Pontfaen to get in touch.

"Anyone with information can contact us in the major incident room on 01443 865 562 or alternatively call 01633 838 111 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Superintendent Dave Johnson is urging the communities and the media to continue with their help and cooperation: "Our neighbourhood officers are supporting the investigative team in any way they can whilst providing support and reassurance to the community.

"We are grateful for the help, cooperation and patience the community has provided us. We would urge them not to speculate and call police if they have any information whatsoever. The mobile police office is in place and will remain so.

"If anyone has any concerns whatsoever please speak to local officers who remain in the vicinity patrolling with Newport City Council safety wardens."