A 17-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murder of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who was stabbed to death on her way to school in south London.
The boy, who has also been charged with having a knife, appeared before Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Wearing a grey tracksuit, he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on October 3.
Elianne was wounded in the neck after getting off a bus in Wellesley Road, Croydon, at about 8.30am on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old suspect was arrested in New Addington just over an hour later.
The court was told the court Elianne was hanging out with two friends before school when the attack happened.
She said that the 17-year-old, who was wearing a mask and gloves, removed a large knife from his clothing, pursued Elianne and stabbed her.
Elianne’s family visited the scene where she died on Thursday evening as crowds gathered outside the police cordon and prayers were said.
A statement read by a church leader on behalf of the family 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.
“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 Elianne and our family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Meanwhile, Elianne’s friends were “sobbing” and “so emotional” at her school on Thursday, Donna Murray-Turner, chairwoman of the local Safer Neighbourhood Board, told crowds after visiting the independent Old Palace of John Whitgift School earlier in the day.
Elianne was the 15th teenage victim of homicide in London so far this year.