Lilia Valutyte murder: Police hunt man after fatal stabbing of 9-year-old girl

Two people arrested earlier this week have been released without charge

Matt Mathers
Saturday 30 July 2022 14:42 BST
Lilia Valutyte murder: Police release pictures of suspect after fatal stabbing of 9-year-old girl

Police in Lincolnshire have released images of a man they want to speak to following the murder of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte.

The schoolgirl, a Lithuanian national, was killed in a suspected stabbing in Fountain Lane, Boston, at around 6.20pm Thursday evening.

Two people who were arrested earlier this week have now been released without charge.

On Saturday, police issued four CCTV images of a man they want to speak to but urged people not to approach him.

Chief Superintendent Martyn Parker said: “Our officers have been working round the clock on this investigation, and the public’s help may prove crucial.

CCTV image issued by investigators of a man they want to question over the death of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte
CCTV image issued by investigators of a man they want to question over the death of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte (Lincolnshire Police/PA media)

“These are very clear images of a man we want to speak to, so I’d urge anyone with information to get in touch with us. If you see him, do not approach him but immediately call 999.

“This is a particularly tragic case and I’d like to reassure the public that we have a huge amount of resources dedicated to the investigation.

“We continue to provide support to the family of Lilia, as they grieve following this unimaginable loss.”

Detectives have said the murder was an isolated incident.

Police urged anyone who sees the man to call 999
Police urged anyone who sees the man to call 999 ( Lincolnshire Police/PA)

Lilia had reportedly been playing with her younger sister on the street just yards from an office where their mother was working at the time.

The girls had a hula-hoop, and a toy pram was left at the scene, according to local people.

A local resident 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.”

Jurate Matulioniene, a family friend and chairwoman of the Boston Lithuanian Community, described Lilia as “a beautiful angel” who loved dancing.

She told The Times: “Lilia was a beautiful angel, she was quite quiet and loved dancing.

“The family used to come to all of our community events and they would always stay late to help clear up.

“I have spoken to the mum and asked for her account details because we want to do a fundraiser but she would not accept it.”

Police said Lilia’s parents were being supported by specialist officers while investigations continued.

Police said the man should not be approached
Police said the man should not be approached ( Lincolnshire Police/PA)

Additional officers would be visible in the area to support the community and the crime scene would remain cordoned off while evidence was gathered.

East area commander, chief superintendent Kate Anderson, said on Friday: “This incident has shocked our community in Boston, and I would like to reassure the community that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to progress the investigation and to support the family.”

Local residents have paid tribute to Lilia, leaving flowers and notes near the cordon. One tribute read: “So sorry this cruel world has taken your life beautiful girl.

“May you be in the arms of the angels.”

Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “The town is united in mourning following the very sad and tragic death of a nine-year-old girl in Boston. We can’t for one second imagine the pain the family and the young girl’s friends are going through and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.

“I understand this incident has left many people shocked and worried. As a council, we remain committed to working with our partners to make Boston a safer community for all.

“Residents and businesses in Boston town centre will experience disruption to some council services, including street cleansing and refuse collections today.

“As a sign of respect to the family of the nine-year-old girl, the council will fly a flag from the municipal buildings at half-mast.”

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