In a sickening and incomprehensible act of evil, nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte was stabbed to death whilst playing with her five-year-old sister outside their mum’s workplace.
The girls were playing with a hula-hoop and doll’s pram in the quiet street in Boston, England, with Lina, the girl’s mother working in a café just metres away. Lina was the first to rush to her daughter’s aid after the horrific attack on Thursday, 28 July 2022.
Detectives told reporters that two men had been arrested in connection to the attack in Fountain Lane around 6.20pm on Thursday. Armed police raided a house in the market town of Boston, Lincolnshire County, taking the men into custody and quizzing them over the attack.
Police are following various lines of inquiry, including where one of the alleged offenders claims Lilia’s mother – who was a recruitment agency boss – owed the man money for factory shifts.
Police are yet to disclose what offences the men have been arrested in connection to, with Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson of Lincolnshire Police saying, “we are pursuing extensive lines of inquiry and have committed a number of resources to this investigation. You will see more officers patrolling the area, and we have a high number of specialist detectives who have been brought in to assist.”
The community has rallied together following Lilia’s sudden and horrific death, with community members leaving floral tributes and letters at the scene of the attack.
Locals have told reporters of their horror at the “most shocking tragedy to ever befall the town”. Paul Skinner, leader of Boston council, said, “the town is united in mourning following the very sad and tragic death of a nine-year-old girl. 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”.
The council will fly the flag at half-mast in respect of Lilia.
Many community members are shocked that anyone could do something so cruel to such a young child. One man said, “we are a close-knit community here, and the town is rocked to the core by this tragedy”.
The quiet town has seen more than enough tragedy in recent times, with Boston named the murder capital of England and Wales in 2016. Lilia’s death follows the stabbing death of a young 12-year-old boy, Robert Buncis, in Boston in 2020.
Following the news of Lilia’s death, Robert’s father Edgar made an emotional address to Lilia’s family, saying, “Dear family, you will go through the hell. Be strong, take any help you can get…My son was stabbed to death on December 12, 2020, and I still live with that and think it never will end. It’s so sad…Where are we going, what is wrong with this world, what is wrong with Boston…I would tell you thousands of words but don’t know what to say…be strong, love those who you have”.
Police advised that they believe the killing to be an isolated incident and have called on members of the public with any information, no matter how small, to contact the police.
If this story has raised concerns for you, there is help available. One thing many have learned over the past two-plus years is that no one has to go through hard times alone.
Please talk to your local GP or contact one of the following:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au
Beyond Blue’s coronavirus support service: 1800 512 348 or coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
Headspace: 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au