Boston stabbing: Man, 22, charged with murder of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte
A man has been charged with murdering nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte in Lincolnshire.
The youngster was killed while she was playing with her sister outside a café in Boston on Thursday.
Deividas Skebas, 22, has today been charged with murdering the child.
The suspect had attempted to flee officers on Saturday, a witness said.
He reportedly dashed through gardens, into a property and out on to an adjacent street, where he was finally caught.
In a statement, Lincolnshire Police said: “We have this evening (31 July) charged 22-year-old Deividas Skebas with the murder of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte.”
Chief Superintendent Martyn Parker said: “This is a heartbreaking case that has affected many people in Boston, and further afield.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Lilia’s family at this exceptionally difficult time.
“The response to such a devastating incident has involved committing significant resources to the investigation, and engaging with people in Boston who are understandably shocked by Lilia’s death.
“Our officers have been in the town, speaking to the public and listening to their concerns. We’ll continue to maintain a significant presence over the coming days.
“Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks once again to the public and the media, who have provided help in a challenging and fast-moving case. Your support is appreciated by our officers and staff.”
Witness Nedas Mikelionis, 24, earlier told The Sun on Sunday: “The street was suddenly filled with police running everywhere.
“The guy they were after ran for it and police came pouring out of the house they had gone to and leapt in their cars to give chase.
“It looks as though he bolted through a back garden, then tried to escape into a park.”
He added that at least 20 officers, including armed police, were involved in the arrest.
Mr Mikelionis said he saw a police drone hovering above the scene and he thinks it was used to help officers track the suspect.
Lincolnshire Police launched a huge manhunt after Lillia was stabbed on Thursday.
She and her sister were reportedly playing with a hula-hoop outside a café where her mum was working when the tragedy took place.
Her mother was said to have rushed to her daughter’s side immediately after the stabbing.
Officers initially arrested two men, however both were released with no further action.
Lincolnshire Police then released CCTV images of a man they wished to question in relation to the case.
Officers later reportedly received a tip-off and descended on Tunnard Street, in Boston, to arrest a man.
The suspect reportedly fled through gardens before being snared in a nearby street at around 2.45pm on Saturday.
Neighbours were left in shock in the aftermath of Lillia’s death.
One resident described the incident as a “parent’s worst nightmare”.
Taxi driver Jonathan Newton, 55, said: “We are a close knit community here and the town is rocked to the core by this tragedy.
“She was just a little girl, how could anyone do this to a nine-year-old? It’s the most shocking tragedy to ever befall our little town.
“I’m just speechless.”
A doll’s pushchair was left lying at the scene next to paramedic equipment, following the stabbing.
It comes after police arrested a man on suspicion of murder on Saturday, following a dramatic chase.