Family pays tribute to girl stabbed to death on her way to school

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 29 Sep, 2023 09:03 | 2 mins read
Flowers at the scene as forensic investigators work the scene in Croydon. PHOTO/Sky News
Flowers at the scene as forensic investigators work the scene in Croydon. PHOTO/Sky News

The family of Elianne Andam has said 'our hearts are broken' after she was stabbed to death near a bus stop on her way to school, Sky News reports.

The 15-year-old was stabbed in the neck with a foot-long knife near the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon, south London, during the morning rush hour, a witness said.

A 17-year-old boy, who knew the victim, was arrested just over an hour after the attack which took place on busy Wellesley Road at around 8.30am on Wednesday.

Elianne's family said in a statement: "Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

"Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

"She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

"All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

"We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child."

Detectives have recovered CCTV footage from the area and spoken to witnesses, while forensic scientists have examined the scene and a postmortem is taking place on Thursday afternoon.

Police said officers were confident Elianne, who attended the Old Palace of John Whitgift School, was attacked near the bus stop in Wellesley Road and are trying to establish her exact relationship with her alleged attacker.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Woodsford, who is leading the investigation, said: "My thoughts and the thoughts of my team are with Elianne's family. This is a deeply upsetting time for them and we will do everything we can to support them."

Pronounced dead

Elianne was pronounced dead at the scene at around 9.20am, while the suspect, who was held in nearby New Addington, remains in custody. Police have been given an extra 12 hours to question him.

DCI Woodsford said: "We know many people were in the area at the time and would have witnessed the attack. This would have been distressing and traumatic and I would encourage anyone who needs support to contact us and we will help to arrange this.

"I know that Elianne's death has left many people feeling upset and I would like to thank the people of Croydon for the support they have shown us as we have carried out our inquiries in the town centre. I know this work has been disruptive, however it has been vital and your patience is appreciated."

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