A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of a 15-year-old teenager, Elianne Andam in Croydon, south London.
Elianne Andam died from a severe neck injury after being attacked by a 17-year-old boy in front of her school friends at around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The attacker, who cannot be named due to legal reasons was arrested in New Addington over an hour after the attack, outside of a shopping center in Wellesley Road, Croydon.
The boy has been charged with murder and possession of a knife. Scotland Yard recovered a hidden knife in nearby Cedar Road, a day after the killing. The teenager is due to appear at a youth court, sitting at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
The year-11 pupil at Old Palace of John Whitgift school, a private girls school in Croydon, had just got off a double-decker bus with a group of friends when she was attacked. Witnesses said the bus driver and other passers-by tried to save her.
The school said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much loved and valued friend, pupil.
“It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news, and we will offer support to our pupils as we try to do so.
“Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time”.
A vigil was held on Thursday evening on Wellesley Road for the intelligent and kind girl. A statement issued out behalf of Elainne’s family by a church leader said:
“We as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne. 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”.
The statement added: “Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out who loved Jesus. She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind and had a bright future ahead. It is our request that you keep our cherished daughter Elainne and our family, in your thoughts and prayers”.
Elianne’s family described her death as a painful tragedy that has left their hearts “broken”. Her family spoke of their pain while revealing that Elainne, who aspired to be a lawyer, had been robbed of her future. Members of the group consoled themselves as they mourned her loss while flowers were placed on the ground. Police officers who were among the first in the scene and battled to save the teenager’s life appeared visibly shaken as they laid flowers.
Donna Murray-Turner, chairwoman of the local Safer Neighborhood Board, addressed the crowd outside the police cordon on Thursday evening that she visited the girl’s school earlier in the day. She mentioned that she read messages in the condolence book and it was about Elainne’s laugh.
She said; “Staff, teachers talked about when she entered a room, you knew she was there. And her friend, as you can imagine were sobbing. They were so emotional”.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Woodford, who is leading the investigation said; “My thoughts and the thoughts of my team are with Elainne’s family”.
“This is a deeply upsetting time for them and we will do everything we can to support them”.