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Crime

28th Sep 2023

Family of hero schoolgirl who stepped in to save friend issue heartbreaking statement

Joseph Loftus

The family of the hero schoolgirl who was tragically killed yesterday have spoken out

Yesterday morning (September 27), the horrific news that a school girl had been stabbed to death in London began to emerge.

Later on, that girl was identified as Elianne Andam after reports surfaced that she was killed after stepping in to help her friend in Croydon.

The 15-year-old died about 50 minutes after being stabbed less than a mile away from the school gates after a row broke out on the number 60 bus outside the Whitgift Shopping Centre close to East Croydon station around 8.30am.

A teenage boy reportedly stabbed Elianne in the neck and chest with a ‘sword-like’ zombie knife.

The Sun reported Thursday that a boy had tried to give his ex flowers and a note on the bus after they recently separated.

The ex, the tabloid claimed, was returning a bag of items to him, then a row broke out at which point he allegedly pulled out a foot-long knife.

The deceased is said to have leapt to her pal’s defence.

Elianne’s family rushed to the scene but are said to have not made it before she passed away.

Now, her family have issued a heartbreaking sentence following the death.

They said: “Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

“Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

“She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future. All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

“We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child.”

It was initially reported that the ex-girlfriend was the victim.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested around an hour after the incident and remains in custody.

The Mirror reported that Eliyanna knew her attacker, while witnesses have told PA they had not been in a relationship.

An envelope discovered near to the scene bore the note, “I love you so much and I never met someone with a better smile and better eyes than what you have, special girl”. It’s not been confirmed who it was written by.

Anthony King, chairman of My Ends – a project helping combat youth violence in Croydon, was with the girl’s family after the incident and said they were “heartbroken”, The Mirror reported.

He added: “She had a bright future ahead of her. She was in her GCSE year.”

King described the girl as an “absolutely incredible young lady” and told of how others said she was “jovial, very comedic”.

The girl was in her GCSE year at Old Palace of John Whitgift, a £19,000-a-year private school.

The school said: “We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and 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.”

Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley visited the scene to be briefed by officers.

Chief superintendent Andy Brittain said the incident was “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

“I know the officers who responded, and our emergency service colleagues, are devastated at the victim’s death.”

He added: “This is an emotion I share and I know people across Croydon will be feeling the same.”

Related links:

Girl, 15, stabbed to death as she protected pal ‘rowing with ex’ on Croydon bus

Girl, 15, ‘stabbed to death after rejecting flowers from boy on bus’

Girl, 15, stabbed to death outside London shopping centre