Bus murder victim Christina Edkins died of single stab wound

Tragic schoolgirl Christina Edkins died of a single stab wound to the chest, detectives revealed today, as a new picture of the suspect was released.

Murder victim – 16-year-old Christina Edkins and the suspect captured by CCTV cameras on a bus
16-year-old Christina Edkins and Phillip Simelane captured by CCTV cameras on the bus

A 22-year-old man from Walsall remains in police custody on suspicion of her murder, which police this afternoon described as "totally senseless and random."

The 16-year-old Halesowen schoolgirl was attacked on a bus in Birmingham yesterday. Officers today released this image of the murder suspect and asked for anyone who may have seen him between 6am and 1pm to contact them. He is believed to have been on buses in and around the Birmingham area during that time.

The suspect is a black male, who was carrying a white bag and wearing a distinctive jacket with a tiger’s head on the back.

Meanwhile, police made an urgent appeal for any passengers on the number nine bus yesterday morning to contact them.

Police arrest a man near to the scene in Harborne Road, Birmingham matching the description of the main suspect. Image: Newsteam
Police arrest a man near to the scene in Harborne Road, Birmingham matching the description of the main suspect. Image: Newsteam

Christina was travelling to Leasowes High School when she was killed in a “sporadic and quick attack” as the double-decker made its way along Hagley Road.

Det Supt Richard Baker from Force CID said there were around 16 people on the bus at the time of Christina’s death on the top deck at 7.37am – but only half of them have so far spoken to police. He urged all the passengers, including those sitting downstairs.

Christina’s death has shattered her family, schoolfriends and teachers, who have paid tribute to the bright and fun-loving teenager. She was a prolific user of Twitter, and detectives are looking through messages. Her family continue to be supported by family liaison officers at their home in Ladywood, Birmingham, today.

A man was arrested and taken away at 12.30pm after being spotted acting suspiciously at the back of Morrisons nearby.

Floral tributes are laid along the Hagley Road in memory of schoolgirl Christina, 16
Floral tributes are laid along the Hagley Road in memory of schoolgirl Christina, 16

Floral tributes were left at the scene throughout yesterday. Friends of the family revealed Christina’s mum Kathleen sent her to Leasowes to give her a better education despite it being several miles from home. She had hoped to become a nurse.

Christina had a brother Ryan and half-sister Joanne and was described by neighbours as “a lovely, happy-go-lucky girl”.

Leasowes headteacher Neil Shaw paid tribute to her, saying: “Christina was a bright and popular student, much loved by staff and students alike.”

Her friend Laura Bishop, 16, said: “Christina was amazing, she was the best friend anyone could have wished for.”

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris has asked National Express West Midlands for an “urgent” meeting to discuss security on buses.