Ava White killing: Detectives bid to trace van in hunt for witnesses
Detectives investigating the murder of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool city centre have issued an image of a van which may have been occupied by key witnesses to the killing.
Ava had been in the city with friends on Thursday following a Christmas lights switch-on when she suffered "catastrophic injuries" in an assault at 8.39pm, Merseyside Police said.
The force is continuing to appeal for information and believes the van's occupants may have witnessed the incident. They are not being treated as suspects.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs said: "Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava's family, friends and the wider community.
"Ava's family are being supported by specialist officers and they have requested that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.
"Merseyside Police is absolutely determined to bring those responsible to justice. Today we are also issuing new images of Ava on behalf of her family.
"We are also sharing a still image of a van which was in the vicinity of the incident and may have witnessed something vital.
"To be clear, we think those vehicle's occupants are witnesses, and in no way suspected of being involved. However, we still need to speak to those people as soon as possible to confirm what information they might hold."
Ms Coombs urged anyone who captured the incident or aftermath to send images or footage to the force online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M43-PO1.
Road closures remain in place on School Lane, Church Alley and Fleet Street as extensive inquiries continue.
Four boys, one aged 13, two aged 14 and one 15-year-old, remain in custody after they were arrested on suspicion of murder.