‘We need the name’: Police in new appeal to find Olivia’s killer – as sniffer dogs deployed to scene

UK

Police have made a fresh appeal for information to find the killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool, saying “you know her name, now we need the name of her murderer”.

Officers said she won’t celebrate her 18th birthday, marry or have children as her life was cut short.

In a social media post, Merseyside Police released a video showing images of the schoolgirl who was fatally shot at her home in the Dovecot area last Monday evening, along with photos of two other recent gunshot victims in the city, Sam Rimmer and Ashley Dale.

'Rummage search' dogs
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‘Rummage search’ dogs have been spotted in an area near Olivia’s home

It comes as police “rummage search” dogs have been seen today in a cordoned area around Olivia’s house.

At one point, officers lifted a dog on to the top of a hedge as part of the search.

Sky’s Emma Birchley, at the scene, said: “We’ve seen detectives knocking on doors. There’s a real momentum to try to move forward this investigation.”

Officers have appealed for the public to name those who killed them, saying “silence is not an option” and people who might be withholding information were warned they are protecting murderers.

A voice-over in the video says: “We’ve got parents who’ve lost children. We’ve got a nine-year-old who won’t celebrate her 18th birthday, she won’t celebrate her wedding, she won’t have children of her own.”

It added: “If you’ve got information, and you’re withholding it, you are protecting the killers. We need your information. Provide that information to us, and we’ll do the rest.”

A caption with the post said: “The progress we’ve made in seeking justice for Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Ashley Dale & Sam Rimmer is thanks to info from the public.

“Sadly we now all know Olivia, Ashley & Sam’s names. Now we need their killer’s.”

Merseyside Police said anyone with information can contact them via social media or by calling 101.

CCTV, dashcam, and smart doorbell footage can be submitted online via mipp.police.uk.

Police released aerial footage of the arrest of a 36-year-old man on suspicion of Olivia's murder
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Police released aerial footage of the arrest of a 36-year-old man on suspicion of Olivia’s murder

Council worker Ms Dale, 28, was found fatally wounded in the back garden of a house in Old Swan on Sunday 21 August. It is believed she was not the intended victim.

Mr Rimmer, 22, was shot in Dingle on Tuesday 16 August.

‘Enormous community support’

A church service is being held in Liverpool today to remember Olivia.

Metro mayor for Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, told Sky News: “The community support here is enormous. You’ll see solidarity like nowhere else. People do help each other out in times of crisis. And this is one such event. And so it’s great that the church is helping those people hopefully to grieve and to come to terms with what’s happened over this last week.”

He added: “There’s already growing anger at something of this magnitude happening. And so you can understand the devastation of people who really can’t get their heads around what’s happening so close to where they live.”

Murder suspects released on bail

Police investigating Olivia’s killing yesterday released on bail two men who had been arrested and questioned on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

They were a 36-year-old man from Huyton and a 33-year-old man from Dovecot. The 36-year-old has been recalled to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.

Following their release, Sky’s Emma Birchley said: “Having spoken to people around here, there was a sense of anger last night and disappointment.

“One mum said she was devastated, she’d really hoped the police had got the right person, but clearly they feel they have insufficient evidence to be able to charge anybody at this stage.”

Officers were also seen carrying a door away from the scene of the attack, while Merseyside Police continues to seek information about a car.

“We are still appealing to anyone who saw a black Audi Q3 in the days leading up to the shooting, or has any information about its movements after leaving Kingsheath Avenue on the night of the shooting,” the force said.

The Audi Q3 which has been seized by police. Pic: Merseyside Police
Image:
The Audi Q3 which has been seized by police. Pic: Merseyside Police

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson wore a shirt at Anfield on Saturday with the message: “RIP Olivia, YNWA” (you’ll never walk alone).

The schoolgirl was shot after a gunman chased his intended target, who has been named as 35-year-old convicted burglar Joseph Nee, into her family home.

Her mother Cheryl, 46, was injured in the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to message @MerPolCC or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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