A murder investigation has been launched after a 13-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Reading.
Police were called just before 4pm on Sunday following reports of a stabbing in Bugs Bottom fields, in the suburb of Emmer Green. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Thames Valley police said the boy’s next of kin had been informed, but no formal identification had taken place. No arrests have been made.
Senior investigating officer Det Supt Kevin Brown, head of Thames Valley police’s major crime unit, said: “This is a fast-moving and dynamic investigation, which is ongoing. We are in the very early stages of this investigation, but we believe that the victim was attacked by two or three males, who made off after the incident in the direction of Hunters Chase.
“There will be a very considerable police presence in the area of St Barnabus Road and Gravel Hill for a number of days, and we have a very large scene-watch in place.
“I would appeal to anybody who was in Gravel Hill this afternoon and believes that they witnessed anything that could help this investigation to please make contact with police if you have not already done so.”
Brown added: “This is an area that is used extensively by dog walkers, and I believe that there will have been witnesses to this dreadful incident, or who may have seen the offenders leaving the area quickly.
“I would ask anybody who was driving or cycling in the area and has either a dashcam or a head-cam to please check the footage between 3pm and 4.30pm, and get in touch if it has captured anything that may assist this investigation.
“Similarly, many families walk in the area, and so if anybody has taken photographs within the area around that time, please check these and contact us if you have picked up anything suspicious.”
Police say they are also keen to speak with anyone in the area with CCTV footage that may provide more information about the incident.
Local policing area commander for Reading, Supt Nick John, added: “This is a shocking incident, and I would like to reassure the community that we are working tirelessly to locate the offenders and bring them into custody.
“Naturally, this incident will cause huge concern in the local community, and I fully understand those concerns.
“I would like to reassure the community that we are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation and we have deployed a large number of police officers and staff to the area. If you have any concerns or any information, please do not hesitate to speak to one of them.”
Anyone with information about the incident can call the 24-hour number 101, quoting incident reference 1069 of 3 January.