A 17-year-old girl who was fatally stabbed in a park was socialising with friends before she was approached by two males and knifed in the back.
Jodie Chesney, 17, died at the scene in Harold Hill, east London, just over an hour after police were called to the park at 9.25pm on Friday.
The suspect who attacked Jodie is described as a black male aged in his late teens, the Metropolitan Police said on Sunday. He is said to have approached her in silence before stabbing her.
There was no description given of the other male who approached Jodie and her five teenage friends while they were playing music.
The group were aware of the two males being in the park and saw them leave at around 9pm, police said.
“Around 30 minutes later the pair returned to the park and walked straight towards the group, where one of the males stabbed Jodie once in the back,” a statement from the force said.
“Nothing was said by the two suspects, who ran off in the direction of Retford Road,” it added.
A post-mortem carried out on Sunday established that the cause of Jodie’s death was trauma and haemorrhage, and police released a photograph of the teenager on the same day.
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Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, who is leading the investigation, appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He said: “Although the description of the suspect is limited, I am certain that people will have seen the two males hanging around the park or running away from the scene – or will otherwise have noticed something suspicious.
“I need those people to call me.”
Jodie was a Girl Scout, and the Daily Telegraph reported that friends from Barking & Dagenham Scouts left a scout neckerchief at the base of a tree where the attack happened.
A charity set up a fundraising page for Jodie’s family which raised more than £4,000 of the £5,000 goal in a day.
It said: “The whole community are still trying to come to terms with this shocking event.
“As a local charity we want to support the family as much as we can to alleviate the financial stress on this young lady’s funeral.
“We are in contact with the immediate family and have agreed to support them with the cost of the funeral arrangements. Once a funeral directors have been chosen we will be writing a cheque to cover the costs.
“We are aware that the local community will want to help with this appeal so as well as making a financial donation towards this from our own account we have set this page up for anyone who wishes to support the family further.”
Jodie’s uncle Dave Chesney told ITV News on Sunday that the family had lost a “beautiful, lovely and quirky” girl.
Mr Chesney said Jodie was the daughter of his youngest brother Pete, adding: “We value your support and prayers at this time especially for our brother Pete, his wife Jo and Jodie’s sister Lucy.
“Also for the friends that were with her at the time.”
Posting on Facebook on Saturday, Jodie’s grandmother Debbie Chesney said too many young people were having their lives “cut short by needless violence”.
She echoed calls for people to come forward with information.
Home secretary Sajid Javid will meet police chiefs to discuss violent crime amid a series of brutal stabbings around the country.
The home secretary will chair the Chief Constables roundtable following the high-profile deaths of two 17-year-olds.
The event on Wednesday will include police chiefs from the areas most affected by knife crime.
The attack on Jodie was the 18th homicide in the capital in 2019, a total that stood at 20 by the end of the weekend.
A 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham, in Greater Manchester, on Saturday night was named by police as Yousef Ghaleb Makki.
Also over the weekend, a man was charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of Che Morrison, 20, outside an east London railway station on Tuesday.
A man was arrested in connection with two stabbings in central London late on Saturday night and early on Sunday that left two people with life-threatening injuries.
And police named a man who is fighting for his life after a “horrific attack” when he was stabbed in Enfield, north London, on Tuesday.
Mr Javid said: “Young people are being murdered across the country and it can’t go on.
“We’re taking action on many fronts and I’ll be meeting police chiefs this week to hear what more can be done.
“It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence.”
The Home Office said it set out a range of actions to tackle violent crime in October including a £200 million youth endowment fund.