The grieving parents of a heavily pregnant teenager have spoken of their struggle to come to terms with her violent murder.
Nikitta Grender, 19, was found dead by firefighters called to a blaze at her flat in Newport, South Wales, on Saturday morning.
Neighbours in the community on the estate in Broadmead Park, Liswerry, where she lived, have spoken of their shock and anger at the killing.
Now Miss Grender’s parents have spoken out for the first time in a brief statement paying tribute to their daughter and unborn granddaughter who was to be named Kelsey-May.
“As a close family we are trying to come to terms with the tragic events which have led to the untimely death of our beautiful daughter Nikitta and granddaughter Kelsey-May,” they said in the statement issued by Gwent Police. “We wish to appeal for any persons with information to contact the police in an effort to find out why this has happened.
“We ask to be left alone at this time with Nikitta and Kelsey-May’s family to come to terms, if possible, with the tragic events which have taken our daughter and grandchild from us.”
Police confirmed that the mother-to-be was murdered before the blaze was set at her flat, almost certainly in an effort to hide the killing.
Friends have said how Nikitta and her boyfriend had moved to the flat less than six months ago and were excited about becoming parents.
Neighbours warned that emotions are now running so high on the estate that people could take the law into their own hands.
Mother-of-four Christine Tovey, 26, warned: “I can see vigilantes coming in if the police do not find who did this. I couldn’t blame them if anyone did. Emotions are running so high around here. Life isn’t fair any more.”