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Investigation launched into police response before 14-year-old’s death

A 16-year-old youth has been charged with the teenager’s rape and murder.

An investigation has been launched into a police force’s response to a missing person report after a 14-year-old girl 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 Independent Office for Police Conduct has said West Midlands Police made a mandatory referral to them after the Lithuanian-born youngster was reported missing by a member of her family the evening before her body was found.

A 16-year-old youth has since been charged with the teenager’s rape and murder and will be in a youth detention facility until he appears at Wolverhampton  Crown Court on June 8.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Viktorija’s family have my deepest sympathy following their terrible loss.

“Our investigation will focus on how police responded to the missing person report, rather than how Viktorija died. We will keep the family and the force regularly updated.”

Mr Campbell added: “As is widely known, the force is separately conducting a criminal investigation and a teenage boy has appeared in court charged in connection with that.

“Therefore it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this time.”

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”.

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