A man has been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was stabbed to death near Walsall, West Midlands police said.
Officers were called to an address in Brownhills at about 9.15pm on Saturday and found the girl, named by police as Mylee Billingham, with serious injuries. She was taken to hospital and died a short time later.
A 54-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He was treated in hospital for a stab wound to his stomach. Police said on Sunday morning that he was in a stable condition and would be questioned in due course.
A neighbour, Graham Greatrex, 74, told how he helped comfort Mylee’s mother after the schoolgirl was discovered badly wounded. He said: “I just offered her a warm drink because it was a bitterly cold night.
“She was in shock.”
On Sunday the home was being searched by forensics experts. The house is believed to belong to the local authority and is one of a row of terraced bungalows in the street.
Greatrex said that a man had lived there for the past six months after the previous occupier, a woman, had died. But he said he did not know the current occupant.
He added: “It was a bit of a shock. You can’t imagine it happening on our doorstep, especially when it’s a little girl.”
DI Jim Colclough, from the homicide unit, said: “We are treating this as a domestic incident and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the child’s death. Our family liaison team are supporting the family of the little girl, who are naturally devastated by her death. Our thoughts remain with them.”
Bob Weir, 72, lives two doors away from the bungalow where the stabbing happened.
He said a middle-aged man had lived at the now sealed-off property, apparently on his own.
The pensioner told reporters: “I didn’t hear until this morning what it was and I was absolutely shocked – I didn’t know the bloke who lived there and he hadn’t lived there long, maybe six months, if that.
“There were police cars both sides of the road, ambulances ... all sorts. I thought it was something to do with drugs. I didn’t know there were any kids in there. I thought he just lived on his own. I never saw a girl or a woman there.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “I only knew the guy to say hello to and I think he was married and was living there on his own. I didn’t hear anything before the police got here.
“It’s really sad. This is not the sort of area where you hear of anybody being stabbed.”