Man held over pregnant teen murder

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The Independent Online

Detectives were today questioning a 26-year-old man on suspicion of murdering teenage mother-to-be Nikitta Grender.

The heavily pregnant 19-year-old was discovered stabbed to death at her burnt out flat in Broadmead Park, Liswerry, Newport, south Wales, on Saturday morning.

The suspect, who is from the Newport area, was arrested by officers from Gwent Police yesterday, before being placed into custody.

His detainment came as the force revealed investigators combing the Broadmead Park estate for clues had recovered a number of items, including two knives, which had been sent for forensic examination.

Officers have been searching six premises across the city as part of the investigation, as well as conducting house to house inquiries.

The suspect is not from the Broadmead Park, the nearby Moorland Park or Pontfaen areas of the city, police said.

Ms Grender was due to give birth in two weeks to a baby girl who had already been named Kelsey-May.

She moved to the flat with boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 18, about six months ago and the couple had already decorated a room in preparation for the baby.

Her violent death from two stab wounds was greeted with deep shock and anger in the community.

Neighbours sobbed at what at first appeared to be a tragic fire death but feelings rapidly turned to anger when police revealed she was murdered.

One angry neighbour warned that vigilante-style justice was a possibility if the police failed to make progress quickly.

Yesterday's arrest came after Ms Grender's parents, Paul and Marcia, spoke of their anguish as they made a public appeal for information.

Mr Mayes also paid his own poignant Facebook tribute to his partner and unborn child yesterday.

"Heya my angels hope your ok. you meant the world to me and the bbey would have," he wrote.

"You were the best thing ever created. i missed speaking to u this mrnin and giving u a kiss. i wish i cud be with u nw. My heart has been ripped open i love u bbey and kelc. 4 ever i promise. XXX"

A major incident team of 50 officers has been deployed to the estate as part of the murder investigation since the tragedy.

Det Supt Geoff Ronayne, who is leading the inquiry, said officers are following many lines of inquiry.

"We are continuing to appeal for information from the communities of Broadmead Park, Moorland Park and Pontfaen, specifically for private CCTV outside their addresses which could be really helpful to the investigation.

"We also want any friends of Nikitta's, anyone in her circle of friends or anyone who has been to her flat to contact us.

"Anyone with information can contact us in the major incident room on 01443 865562 or alternatively call 01633 838111 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."