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Dave Thompson/PA Images

Murders of two 16-year-old boys a mile apart in London are linked, police say

London police believe a dark coloured SUV may be involved.

LAST UPDATE | 27 Nov 2022

THE FATAL STABBINGS of two 16-year-old boys just a mile apart in south-east London are linked, local police have said.

Kearne Solanke and Charlie Bartolo were found with stab wounds on Saturday afternoon.

As neighbours mourned their murders, police revealed this afternoon that they are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a dark-coloured SUV-type vehicle in the area.

Detective Superintendent Richard McDonagh, speaking at the scene of one of the incidents, told reporters: “Homicide colleagues are investigating and are treating the two murders as linked.

“I can assure everybody affected by these murders that skilled detectives will work tirelessly to discover what happened and provide answers to the young victims and families.

“Officers are especially keen to hear from anyone who might have seen a dark-coloured SUV or 4X4 type with distinctive silver roof bars in the areas around Sewell Road or Titmuss Avenue in the days prior to the murders.

“We have already heard from a number of witnesses and I’m grateful to them.”

London’s Metropolitan Police were called out at around 5.10pm yesterday to reports that people had been injured at both locations.

Both youths were pronounced dead and murder investigations were launched.

Crime scenes remained in place at both locations on Sunday, with police guarding the cordons.

Several teenage boys laid flowers by the cordon in Titmuss Avenue, where a forensics tent could be seen by some knocked over dustbins.

One was tearful as he placed a red love-heart balloon alongside them.

Officers later cordoned off a black Nissan and one said it is a “car of interest” in the investigation.

McDonagh said he joins the community in “being deeply saddened and outraged by the senseless murders”.

Local residents spoke of their dismay at the murders.

Bamidele Folorunso, a neighbour who did not give her age but lives nearby and was on the way to church, told the PA news agency: “It is very sad.

“We just found out the boy was on the floor and the police came and they tried to resuscitate him.”

A visibly upset Folorunso said: “Since then, everyone in the area has been mourning. It is very sad to lose a 16-year-old boy.”

Victor, 30, a football manager, who says he went to school with the victim’s mother, said the stabbing was “not normal” for the area but things have been getting worse in recent years.

“There is a lot of stuff going on on the street with the young kids – it’s due to the lack of youth centres.

“There is not really a place where kids say ‘this is a safe environment’.”

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