Children may have witnessed babysitter's murder

Detectives hope that victims' nephew and niece aged three and four can help catch her killers

Detectives were yesterday attempting to interview two children aged three and four who were in a house when their teenage babysitter was stabbed to death.

Chatherine Wynter, 19, was looking after her nephew and niece at her sister's home when she was attacked on Boxing Day night, police said. She was found by her mother the next morning at the terraced house in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

It was not clear if the three-year-old boy, or the four-year-old girl, neither of whom were injured, were in the same room when the attack took place. The police interviews are expected to take some time because of the age of the children. It was not immediately clear how much, if anything, they knew of the attack.

Two men, one aged 18 from a different address in Borehamwood, and a 26-year-old from Islington, have been arrested and are being questioned on suspicion of murder. Police said the pair, who have not been named, were known by Ms Wynter and her sister, but were not direct relatives. Officers are investigating if the babysitter allowed the attackers into the house.

Ms Wynter, who was also known as Katy, was a student at West Hertfordshire College in Watford and regularly babysat for her sister. Her family released a brief statement last night describing her as "a quiet girl who enjoyed life". "She was a loving auntie to her niece and newphew," it added.

Neighbours spoke of their shock at the killing. Doreen Foster, 76, a family friend, described Ms Wynter as a "mad Dr Who fan". "She had a bubbly personality and was never in a bad mood," she added. Floral tributes were left near the house. One read: "To darling Katy. RIP angel. We will miss you so much."

Yesterday police had cordoned off the road and were searching the surrounding area for evidence.

Ms Wynter and the children were on their own in the house at the time of the attack. She last spoke to someone at 7pm on Boxing Day night on the telephone and her body was found the next morning at 8am by her mother.

A post-mortem examination conducted yesterday found that the teenager had died from stab wounds. Detective Superintendent Mick Hanlon said: "Firstly, our thoughts are with the victim's family. As you can imagine, this is an extremely traumatic time and they are being supported by specialist family liaison officers.

"We have a team of detectives currently working on the case who are looking at a number of lines of inquiry to establish exactly what happened. However, I would like to appeal to the communities of Borehamwood to help us."

Officers have asked anyone who saw anything suspicious between 5pm on Boxing Day and the following morning to come forward.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine