Merseyside Police has held a press conference to provide an update on their efforts so far regarding the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said, “Firstly, I would like to thank the local community and members of the public who have come forward with a huge amount of information. The response that we have had and the lines of enquiry that your information has generated cannot be underestimated. Thank you.
“I also want to reassure everyone that all the information you provide is looked at and carefully considered. Sometimes that results in a very overt response but sometimes it doesn’t and I appreciate that it may seem as though nothing has been done. That isn’t the case and we carefully consider all the information provided to us.
“Today, I want to provide you with some further detail around what the investigation has discovered so far. As I have said before, I recognise the demand for updates in respect of Olivia’s murder. We have all been affected by her terrible and tragic murder and we all care deeply about finding those responsible. I therefore want to share as much as we are able to but as always, this has to be balanced against releasing material that undermines the investigation or any future prosecution. So please bear with me.
“The investigation team have been working incredibly hard and for long hours every day, such is their commitment to identifying the man responsible for Olivia’s murder. The investigation itself has made significant progress, and the response from the public has been excellent and directly helped the enquiry. However, I now want to ask for more information and more help.
“Olivia’s Mum Cheryl has said how thankful she is for the assistance and support of the community. Cheryl is still receiving treatment for her injuries and is still suffering with pain.
“I am going to show you footage of the man that murdered little Olivia. I am doing this because people may recognise what he is wearing. It may also help people remember seeing him in the area on the night of Olivia’s murder and be able to help us trace where he went next.
“This footage shows the gunman running along Finch Lane away from Kingsheath Avenue. You then see him turn right into Berryford Road and go out of sight. We know he is climbing into and through peoples gardens to avoid being seen.
“As you can see, the gunman was wearing a black padded jacket and a black balaclava with a peak and black gloves and he is described as approximately 5ft 7in tall with a slim build.
“This is the man we are hunting for – We need to know where he went that night or did you see him in the area? Remember this was shortly after 10pm on Monday 22nd August.
“I know that there will be people shielding and helping this man. If you are found to be doing this then we will do everything legitimately possible to bring you to justice. It is beyond comprehension how anyone can protect a person who is responsible for killing a nine-year-old little girl.
“This man is toxic. He is toxic to our communities and if you are protecting him then he is toxic to you and your families.
“I want you to place the loyalty that you have to your families before any loyalty you have for this man. I want information as to where he is now.
“The investigation team have worked closely with partners within the forensic arena and the National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS) and I can now confirm that there were two guns used during this attack.
“I believe at this time that the gunman brought both of these weapons with him and that they were still with him when he callously ran away from Olivia’s house. I want to know where those guns are now.
“You may have been told to hide them or dispose of them – I understand you may be frightened of contacting us, but I want you to do the right thing for Olivia and tell us where they are right now.
“If you are hiding the guns and you have no intention of telling us, then I place you in the same category as the vile man responsible for the murder. And we will hunt you too.
“I would repeat the fact that the actions of the person who carried out this cold blooded attack do not command loyalty in any way, shape or form and Olivia’s family need to know that everyone responsible for her murder have been caught and convicted.
“So I ask you again – where are those guns now?
“Finally, the enquiry team are attempting to trace everyone in the area at the time of Olivia’s murder.
“I therefore want to trace this man who was in the area at the time. He is stood on Finch Lane near to the junction with Kingsheath Avenue.
I am interested in speaking to him as he may have information that is important to the enquiry.
“I therefore appeal for this man to come forward and make himself known to the investigation team. If anyone knows who this man is, please tell us.
“I have already talked about the pace of the investigation itself, but now I want to update you on the commitment of the Force in its relentless targeting of those involved in serious and organised crime.
“As a result of the support and information that we have had from our communities we have executed 88 warrants, stop searched 942 people, arrested 349 people, and conducted 75 open land searches.
“What we now know is that those involved in serious and organised crime are being significantly disrupted and are fed up and frustrated by the increased policing activity. We are making these areas toxic to those who commit crime, and we know they don’t like it. However, we make no apology for that. I said we would bare our teeth and that is precisely what we are doing.”
Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or call @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 22000621096. You can also pass information on our Major Incident Public Portal website mipp.police.uk
Image: Olivia Pratt-Korbel – Family handout