olice investigating the murder of a nine-year-old girl shot dead in her home in Liverpool are urging people to come forward with information so they can “bring those responsible to justice”, as two suspects were released on bail.
Officers said they need to be able to “build up a strong evidential picture” after Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killing and reiterated their appeal for information about a vehicle at the scene on the night of the shooting.
Police’s continued appeal on Saturday evening came as officers said two men arrested over the death have been bailed.
The 36-year-old man, from Huyton, has been recalled to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.
Both he and the 33-year-old man, from Dovecot, were arrested on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Olivia was shot on Monday night after a gunman chased his intended target, who has been named as convicted burglar Joseph Nee, into the family home in Dovecot, also injuring the girl’s mother Cheryl, 46.
Merseyside Police said in a statement: “Our investigation into Olivia’s tragic murder is ongoing and we still need people to come forward so we can build up a strong evidential picture and bring those responsible to justice.
“We are still appealing to anyone who saw a black Audi Q3 car in the days leading up to the shooting, or has any information about its movements after leaving Kingsheath Avenue on the night of the shooting.”
The force has previously released an image of a black Audi Q3, which has been seized and which they believe is the same car used to take 35-year-old Nee to hospital.
Police also pushed their appeal for information on social media, insisting “silence is not an option”.
The force tweeted: “A simple request – share this far and wide, to everyone you know, and ask them to share it further still, so that there’s no hiding place for anyone involved in the murder of little Olivia.
“We need names. Silence is not an option.”
Assistant mayor of Liverpool Harry Doyle said people had come forward in the days since the murder, because they “want to see justice” for the little girl and her loved ones, and that the arrests had brought “a sense of hope and relief”.
Olivia’s family have urged people to “do the right thing”, saying that speaking up “is not about being a ‘snitch’ or a ‘grass’, it is about finding out who took our baby away from us”.
In a touching tribute, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson wore a top reading “RIP Olivia YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)” for the team’s victory against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a £500,000 package of support announced by the Home Office “doesn’t touch the sides” and what the community affected in Liverpool needs is “long-term solutions”, Mr Doyle said.
Some £350,000 will be used to expand a pilot scheme as part of efforts to tackle organised crime in Merseyside, while £150,000 will provide trauma and mental health support in the Liverpool and Knowsley areas, the Government announced.
Mr Doyle said budgets had been “decimated over the years”, including those for youth grants.
He told BBC Breakfast: “What our community needs is long-term solutions and funding support solutions for the kids here on the street who were Olivia’s friends.”
Anyone with CCTV/dashcam/smart doorbell footage that they think could help police in their investigation can be submit it on the Public Portal at mipp.police.uk, police said.
Separately, a fourth person has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of 22-year-old Sam Rimmer, who was shot in Dingle, Liverpool, on Tuesday, August 16.
Police said the 23-year-old man from Liverpool was being interviewed by detectives on Saturday.
Two men aged 21 and 20, and a 17-year-old boy, who were also arrested on suspicion of murder, have been bailed.