Police are continuing an investigation into the murder of a 12-year-old girl as her family released poignant new pictures of her.
Ava White suffered “catastrophic injuries” when she was assaulted after a Christmas lights switch-on event on Thursday evening in Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said she had been involved in a “verbal argument” that escalated into “an assault on her with a knife”, but a weapon has not yet been recovered.
Meanwhile, police have also released an image of a van and want to speak to the occupants who may have witnessed the assault on Ava.
Police were called to reports of an assault in the area of Church Alley, Liverpool at around 8.39pm on Thursday, November 25, reports the Liverpool Echo.
When officers arrived they discovered Ava collapsed on the ground while a member of the public who witnessed the attack was giving first aid.
Paramedics attended at the scene and Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where sadly she died a short time later despite the best efforts of medical staff.
Four teenage boys – one aged 13, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 years, all from the Dingle area remain in custody for questioning.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs said: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava’s family, friends and the wider community.
“Ava’s family are being supported by specialist officers and they have requested that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.
“Merseyside Police is absolutely determined to bring those responsible to justice. Today we are also issuing new images of Ava on behalf of her family.
“We are also sharing a still image of a van which was in the vicinity of the incident and may have witnessed something vital.
“To be clear, we think that vehicle’s occupants are witnesses and in no way suspected of being involved. However, we still need to speak to those people as soon as possible to confirm what information they might hold.
“We’d also urge anyone else who has captured the incident or aftermath to send any images/footage directly via the following link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M43-PO1
“Four males remain in custody for questioning and a part of the city centre remains cordoned off while we continue our work.
“I’d like to thank the businesses and residents in the area for their patience and understanding while we make these vital enquiries.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind people not to make any comments on social media which might potentially jeopardise our investigation, including of course names of any people potentially involved.
“We welcome any such information, but please only pass it on in the following ways so we can continue to make progress in our investigation.”
You can pass information on with reference 21000820789 via ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.