Parents' plea over murdered Nikitta Grender

The grieving parents of a heavily pregnant teenager spoke today of their struggle to come to terms with her violent murder.

Nikitta Grender, 19, was found dead by firefighters called to a blaze at her flat in Newport, south Wales, on Saturday morning.



Neighbours in the community on the estate in Broadmead Park, Liswerry, where she lived, have spoken of their shock and anger at the killing.



Murder hunt detectives re-appealed for anyone, particularly close friends of the murdered woman, to come forward with information.



Now Miss Grender's parents have spoken out for the first time in a brief statement paying tribute to their daughter and unborn grand-daughter who was to be named Kelsey-May.



They also joined police by issuing their own appeal for public help in hunting down the murderer.



"As a close family we are trying to come to terms with the tragic events which have led to the untimely death of our beautiful daughter Nikitta and grand-daughter Kelsey-May," they said in the statement issued by Gwent Police.



"We wish to appeal for any persons with information to contact the police in an effort to find out why this has happened.



"We ask to be left alone at this time with Nikitta and Kelsey-May's family to come to terms, if possible, with the tragic events which have taken our daughter and grandchild from us."











Police confirmed today that the mother-to-be was murdered before the blaze was set at her flat, almost certainly in an effort to hide the killing.



Neighbours have told police that the flat's fire alarm was triggered at around 5.30am on Saturday.



Friends have said how Nikitta and her boyfriend had moved to the flat less than six months ago and were excited about becoming parents.



Details of her death triggered a wave of grief which quickly turned to anger when it was revealed she had been murdered.



Neighbours today warned that emotions are now running so high on the estate that people could take the law into their own hands.



Mother-of-four Christine Tovey, 26, warned that lack of police progress in finding the killer could trigger vigilante-style action in the community.



"I can see vigilantes coming in if the police do not find who did this," she said.



"I couldn't blame them if anyone did. Emotions are running so high around here. Life isn't fair anymore."



But police have underlined the extent of the major operation continuing in the Newport area.



Information is already coming forward from members of the public hoping to help catch the killer, but more is needed, Gwent Police said.



In a fresh appeal they said: "Specifically, police are appealing for any of Nikitta's friends and associates to come forward as they may have vital information."



Forensic investigators are already examining items taken from the scene of the murder.



CCTV footage from the area is also being scrutinised in the hope that it will offer a clue.



A total of 50 officers have been drafted in to work on the case with exhaustive house-to-house inquiries on-going.



Joint patrols with Neighbourhood Officers and community safety wardens, aimed at reassuring the community, have started up today.



Police are also distributing leaflets and using bluetooth technology to appeal to residents in the Broadmead Park area.



Specially trained officers are also supporting the family of the murdered mother.



"We have had calls from members of the public but we would like more information," a spokesman said.



"Specifically we would like to hear from anyone who knew Nikitta, who was in her circle of friends and wider associates - male or female - who spent time with her and perhaps had been to her flat at Broadmead Park.



"We are now fairly certain of Nikitta's whereabouts during the early part of the evening: she went, in her friend's car, to McDonald's, they then drove around the Newport and Cwmbran area and she then was back at the flat at approximately 1am on the Saturday morning.



"We know from a neighbour that the fire alarm went off at 5.30am. We now know that the fire was started after she was stabbed, probably to disguise the attack, so we are interested in anyone who knows of Nikitta's whereabouts or any visitors to the flat or any suspicious activity in the area between 1am and 5.30am to come forward and help with the inquiry.



"We have specialist officers supporting the family who are understandably distraught at the horrific events which have occurred over the last few days and our thoughts remain with them."



Superintendent Dave Johnson said: "Our officers are remaining at the scene not only to provide reassurance but also to speak to any members of the public who may have vital information about the investigation or any concerns.



"We are also patrolling with Newport City Council Community Safety Wardens and the mobile police office will remain in the vicinity."



A dedicated major incident room has been set up and if anyone has information they should call 01443 865562 to speak to a member of the enquiry team or call 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map