Boy(16) charged with rape and murder of 14-year-old girl found dead in park

File photo of forensic police at the scene in West Park, Wolverhampton, where 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova's body was found. Photo: PA Wire.

A teenage boy has appeared in a UK court charged with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl who was found dead in a park.

Viktorija Sokolova was discovered by a member of the public in West Park, Wolverhampton, at about 7am on Thursday last week.

The Lithuanian-born youngster was reported missing on Wednesday but was pronounced dead the following day, after suffering a blunt force trauma to the head.

A 16-year-old boy spoke only to confirm his name, age and address at a five-minute hearing at Dudley Magistrates' Court on Monday.

A second teenage boy, aged 17, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, has been bailed pending further investigation.

Viktorija's family paid tribute to her, saying she was "like a little angel" and "she made our lives so colourful and full of meaning".

They added: "You will be living in our hearts, soul and mind forever. Goodbye our little angel."

The teenager was remanded into secure youth detention accommodation until a further hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday.

West Park remained closed while a comprehensive forensic examination continued.

Jamie Morgan, acting principal of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy and Nursery, the primary school Viktorija used to attend, said: "We were all deeply shocked and saddened to hear the terrible news about Viktorija Sokolova, who was a pupil at SS Peter and Paul until 2015.

She was a joy to teach; a hard-working, well-liked, lovely girl whose positive and fun personality was infectious.

"We recall her having a passion for dancing - she was an active member of the school dance club and positively contributed to a number of school performances. Her comment in her primary leavers' book was that she aspired to become a dancer."

He added: "We offer our thoughts and prayers to all of her family at this tragic time."

- Press Association



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