Boy in court charged with rape and murder of 14-year-old found dead in park
The Lithuanian-born girl was found by a member of the public on Thursday.
A teenage boy has appeared in 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.”