Two people were arrested yesterday morning in connection with the killing, with police describing it as an “isolated” incident with the wider public in no danger. A small tent was put up at the scene near the town’s historic St Botolph’s Church as forensic officers gathered vital evidence.
The incident happened on a quiet lane in Boston at around 6.20pm on Thursday evening.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Supt Kate Anderson said: “Officers were called to the scene of the incident at Fountain Lane, Boston.”
“Lilia sadly died. We have arrested two people in connection with the incident. We are pursuing extensive lines of enquiry and have committed a number of resources. You will see more officers patrolling the area and we have a high number of specialist detectives to assist the investigation.”
“Lilia’s parents are being supported by specially-trained officers and I can only imagine the grief and pain they are going through. Their welfare and the welfare of those she knew is a priority to us.”
The schoolgirl’s body was found outside MS Agricultural Services along a quiet lane next to quaint cobbled streets lined with cafes and shops.
Much of the nearby area is commercial, with car parks, a high street and several boarded-up shops. Heartbroken members of the community said it was the “most shocking tragedy ever to befall” the town.
Taxi driver Jonathan Newton, 55, said: “We are a close-knit community and the town is rocked to the core by this. She was just a little girl.”
Arthur Smith, 66, who knelt down to say a prayer at the scene, added: “A poor little angel has lost her life. I feel so sorry for her parents. When I was growing up, you could never imagine something like this happening.”
Mum of two Sara Stringer, 37, spoke of the increased police presence, adding: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard a little girl was killed. It is disgusting.”
Lilia’s death comes while Britain is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic. Latest figures for England and Wales show offences involving knives are up by 10 percent in a year.
Three people were killed in less than 24 hours in London last weekend, while 12-year-old Ava White was murdered by a teenage killer in Liverpool last November.
Last week it emerged police forces in England and Wales had recorded the highest number of offences in 20 years, said to be driven by a sharp rise in fraud, rape and violent attacks.
A total of 6.3 million crimes were recorded in the year to March 2022 – four percent higher than a previous record high of 6.1 million in 2019/20. It was also up 16 per cent on 2020/21, when crime levels were affected by Covid lockdown restrictions.
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, showed knife crime rose to 49,027 offences in the year to March.
This compares to 44,642 in the previous 12 months, although it is below pre-pandemic 2019/20, in which there were 55,078 offences.