Pictured: Croydon schoolgirl’s NHS mother at vigil for murdered daughter as family weep for 15-year-old stabbed to death ‘by her friend’s ex-boyfriend as he tried to win her over with flowers’ in horrific rush-hour attack
- Dorcas Andam was comforted by family at the spot where her daughter died
- Her 15-year-old daughter, Elianne, was stabbed to death on her way to school
- Read More: Elianne told friend ‘I am not afraid to die’ only the day before murder
The heartbroken mother of a 15-year-old girl stabbed to death on her way to school wept as she visited the spot where her daughter died tonight.
Dorcas Andam was consoled by husband Michael and 30 relatives – including the teenager’s aunts and cousins – at the murder scene in Croydon, South London.
They spent 15-minutes hugging each other and praying close to where aspiring lawyer Elianne died after being stabbed in the neck outside the Whitgift Centre.
The teenager was killed at 8.30am yesterday on route to the private Old Palace of John Whitgift School as she reportedly stood up for a friend who was involved in a heated row with an ex-boyfriend.
Distraught relatives arrived in a fleet of cars from the family home half-a-mile away at 6pm and were escorted through the police cordon by senior officers.
Dorcas Andam, in the black-and-white dress, arrived at the scene in Croydon where her 15-year-old daughter Elianne was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning
Bishop of Croydon, right, Rosemarie Mallett, read aloud a statement written by the family shortly before 7pm.
Elianne Andam was on her way to school when she was attacked in Wellesley Road at approximately 08:30am on Wednesday
A female officer is comforted by her colleague as they attended the vigil this afternoon
Bishop Mark Nicholson, from Croydon’s Acts Christian Church, who had moments early led a community vigil by the police cordon, was summoned by mum Dorcas to join prayers.
Flowers were then placed at the scene and Elianne’s parents left 15-minutes later but other relatives remained.
Within 75 minutes of the incident, a 17-year-old boy was arrested in New Addington on suspicion of murder.
Today police were given an extra 12 hours to quiz the suspect, who remains in custody at a south London police station.
A row spilt out of the number 60 bus outside the Whitgift Shopping Centre close to East Croydon station on Wednesday morning.
A teenage boy dressed in black is said to have stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck and chest with a ‘sword-like’ zombie knife when she stood in his way after her friend rejected his flowers and love letter before he was arrested on a tram an hour later.
A bus driver and passers-by battled to save her. But Elianne died on the pavement just minutes after the attack.
Her family, who had been called to the scene, rushed down to the bus stop but she died at 9.21am – before they could say goodbye.
Bishop of Croydon, Rosemarie Mallett, read aloud a statement written by the family shortly before 7pm.
Flanked by Elianne’s tearful aunt Marian, the Bishop said: ‘We, as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne.
Elianne’s mother, far right, and family arrived at the vigil where she was murdered in Croydon
Elianne’s devastated mother arrived at the vigil with her family and stayed only a short while
Police officers lay flowers at the scene in Croydon, south London, where 15-year-old Elianne Andam was stabbed to death on Wednesday
The family said in a statement: ‘We, as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne.’
A community vigil was held at Wellesley Road in Croydon where Elianne Andam was murdered
‘Our hearts are broken. And we are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief our faith in the Lord is strengthening us.
‘We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to send us thoughtful and compassionate messages and prayers.
‘We kindly ask for your consideration to also respect our need for privacy as we attempt to come to grips with our deeply devastating loss.
‘Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out who loved Jesus.
‘She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind and had a bright future ahead of her.
‘It is our request that you keep our cherished daughter Elianne and our family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you very much.’
Earlier in the evening, community leaders Anthony King, Donna Murray-Turner and James Watkins addressed a crowd of 50 well wishers.
Mr King, who runs My Ends, said: ‘Many narratives have gone out in relation to what happened.
The family asked for consideration and respect for their privacy as they came to terms with the loss
Relatives of murdered 15-year-old Elianne Andam react as they visit the scene of her murder at a bus stop, outside the Whitgift Centre on Wellesley Road
Locals pray at the scene where Elianne Andam was fatally stabbed on September 28
Elianne died at the scene at 09:21. An arrest was made at 09:45 and he is likely to have been known to the victim
A 17-year-old boy, who knew the victim, was arrested just over an hour after the attack
‘Regardless of what happened this was a 15 year old girl with a bright future ahead of her.
‘She went to a brilliant school where so many children have come today and laid flowers.
‘We have tried hard over the last few years to reduce knife crime… we will not stop in that pursuit.
‘We won’t stop until we can get rid of this.
‘The family are absolutely grieving… a child’s life hasn’t even started at 15.’
Ms Murray-Turner, chairwoman of the local Safer Neighbourhood Board, told crowds that Elianne’s friends were ‘sobbing’ and ‘so emotional’ at her school on Thursday.
She said she read messages in a book of condolence and they ‘talk about her laugh’.
She added: ‘Staff, teachers, talked about when she entered a room you knew she was there. And her friends, as you can imagine, were sobbing. They were so emotional.’
Ms Murray-Turner added that a meeting will be held at Croydon Town Hall on Monday at 6pm, where the agenda will be about violence against women and girls.
‘I’m not afraid to die, I’m going to heaven,’ Elianne said just one day before she was stabbed to death.
One of her close friends, who goes by bethkayyx on TikTok, said: ‘We were talking about death and she said ‘I’m not afraid to die, I’m going to heaven and that’s that’.
She added that Elianne ‘always talked’ about how she ‘wasn’t afraid’ to die and was a ‘heavenly believer’.
Paying tribute to her beloved friend on the online video sharing platform, she described their close bond and the devastation she has faced since yesterday morning.
A forensic investigator onboard the bus where the argument is believed to have started
Privacy screens and a tent outside the Whitgift centre in Croydon while a bus sits beside the pavement nearby
Forensic officers walk past the scene, which features several privacy screens
Elianne is the 15th teenage homicide victim in London so far in 2023.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley have both visited the scene of the killing.
Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain said police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
‘This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and I know the officers who responded this morning, along with our emergency service colleagues, are devastated at the victim’s death,’ he said.
‘This is an emotion I share and I know people across Croydon will be feeling the same.
‘The victim’s family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at what must be an incredibly difficult time.
‘We carried out urgent inquiries to find the suspect and within 75 minutes of the incident happening a 17-year-old boy was arrested in New Addington. He remains in custody and will be questioned by detectives.
‘We remain in the early stages of our investigation, however based on what we know so far we believe that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this offence.
‘From our initial inquiries, we believe the suspect may have known the victim. However, we’re not in a position to release the victim’s identity at this time.’
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