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Police in new appeal for information over murder of Lucy, 13

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death.

Police have issued a fresh appeal for information following the death of murdered schoolgirl Lucy McHugh.

Detectives are still trying to piece together the 13-year-old’s final movements after the discovery of her body in woodland near Southampton Sports Centre.

Hampshire Police said they hoped newly released images of the distinctive clothing Lucy was seen wearing before she died might help piece together what happened to her.

Police on Monday afternoon confirmed the girl died as a result of stab wounds from an unspecified weapon.

A 24-year-old man, named locally as Stephen Nicholson, remains in custody on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with a child.

He was arrested at a home in Mansel Road East, Southampton, on Thursday, neighbours said.

Police are continuing to search the property where he was detained.

Lucy was last seen at her home, also in Mansel Road East, on Wednesday morning and was reported missing, before being found by a member of the public the following morning.

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Lucy McHugh (Hampshire Constabulary/PA)

Lucy’s mother, Stacey White, has called for calm following the arrest and said violent threats would “not bring my angel back”.

In a social media post, she said: “Please can I ask that people are not passing blame on to family members of the person that has been arrested in connection with my precious daughter Lucy White’s murder.

“Making threats of violence to them will not bring my angel back.”

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Floral tributes at the scene near Southampton Sports Centre (Ben Mitchell/PA)

Officers have appealed for anyone who found a “sharp implement” in the area near Southampton Sports Centre to get in touch.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “We cannot say at this stage whether this is a knife, scissors or other bladed implement.

“Even if someone has put an item in a bin, we will try and recover it.”

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A message on flowers left close to the scene near Southampton Sports Centre, where Lucy McHugh’s body was found (Ben Mitchell/PA)

Detective Superintendent Paul Barton reiterated the force’s appeal for anyone with any information about Lucy’s last movements to contact them.

He said: “We know how shocked the community is and understand that emotions are running high.

“However we ask people not to speculate on social media – it is unhelpful to the investigation and to Lucy’s family.

“Please allow us to do our job and find out what happened to Lucy.”

The teenager was last seen wearing a distinctive black jacket with white sleeves, with the logo for the band Falling In Reverse on the front and RADKE 01 in red on the back. She also wore camouflage leggings, a white vest top and black and white trainers.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise £5,000 towards costs for Lucy’s funeral has already exceeded the target.

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