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7:57am UK, Thursday December 29, 2011
Police have launched a murder inquiry after a teenage girl was stabbed to death while she was babysitting her young relatives.
Chatherine Wynter had been looking after her three-year-old nephew and niece, aged four, at her sister’s house in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
Police were called to the home at around 8am on Tuesday after Miss Wynter’s body was discovered by her mother.
The children were not injured and are being interviewed by specialist officers to ascertain how much they saw or heard of what happened.
An 18-year-old local man and a 26-year-old man from Islington were arrested. The older man was later released with no further action.
A post-mortem is taking place but police believe Chatherine – also known as Katy – died of knife injuries.
Police have been carrying out a detailed investigation at the scene
Her family said in a statement: “Katy was a quiet girl who enjoyed life. She was a loving auntie to her niece and nephew, who she was looking after on Boxing Day.”
Friends told Sky News that Miss Wynter was a student at West Herts College and was due to graduate next year.
Among floral tributes left near the house, one read: “To darling Katy. RIP angel. We will miss you so much.”
A detailed investigation is under way – police wearing white suits spent the day going through bins and hedgerows looking for the murder weapon, and the area remains cordoned off.
Detectives are investigating whether there are any signs of a break-in at the property and believe the murder took place between 7pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday.
Detectives from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward.
“We have a team of detectives currently working on the case who are looking at a number of lines of inquiry to establish exactly what happened. However, I would like to appeal to the communities of Borehamwood to help us,” Detective Superintendent Mick Hanlon said.
“If you have any piece of information, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, please ring.
“If you were in the area of Beech Drive any time from 5pm on Boxing Day (December 26) and you saw or heard anything suspicious I would ask that you call the incident room.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the police incident room on 01707 355666, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.