Police are investigating whether a 13-year-old schoolboy who was stabbed to death at a beauty spot near his home may have been killed with a Samurai sword as his family paid tribute to their ‘charming’ son.
Olly Stephen’s relatives said he was an ‘enigma’ having ‘Autism and suspected Pathological Demand Avoidance’ and could always get his way with a ‘wry smile’.
They also thanked an off-duty doctor who battled in vain to save his life after he was stabbed to death in Emmer Green near Reading, Berkshire.
Yesterday, forensic teams searched a house and the victim’s sister vowed to ‘get justice’ following the attack on Sunday afternoon.
According to the Telegraph, reports have circulated on social media that a Samurai sword was used in the attack.
Thames Valley police, who are leading the investigation, said they were unable to confirm or deny the detail as their enquiries were ongoing.
Olly Stephens, 13, was identified as the victim of Sunday’s attack in Emmer Green, Berkshire
Forensic teams searched a home in Berkshire yesterday as the investigation continues
Officers stood guard at police cordons erected at Bugs Bottom Fields yesterday morning
A girl and four boys aged 13 and 14 were still in custody yesterday after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Olly’s family’s tribute said: ‘Last night we have had to face every parents’ worst nightmare. My wife, daughter and I would like to whole heartedly thank the following people.
‘A Good Samaritan that tried valiantly to save Oliver, an off duty doctor who also offered her help, all the emergency services that attended the scene at Bugs Bottom, Emmer Green who have been exemplary, the forensic team and all staff that are still on the case, and our families, neighbours, friends and colleagues who have sent their valued love and support.’
The message continued: ‘Oliver was an enigma, having both Autism and suspected Pathological Demand Avoidance he became a challenge we never shied away from.
‘He was hilariously funny, charming and beautiful. He could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin.
‘He always stood his ground and fought for the underdog whilst having an amazing depth of love, warmth and wit.
‘In his final moments he must have been terrified. Fighting to get home, he had everything to live for. We now have only memories.
‘An Olly sized hole has been left in our hearts. Gentle shoulder charge, love ya mate XXX.’
His 16-year-old sister Emilia added on Instagram: ‘I’m so sorry I failed you, I wish I could have saved you from it all. We will get justice for you my angel.’
Police searching at the scene in Emmer Green today where 13-year-old Olly was stabbed
Police at the scene in Berkshire today as investigations continue into the death of the teenager
Police at the scene in Emmer Green today where the 13-year-old was stabbed to death
Officers were called just before 4pm on Sunday following reports of a stabbing in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green, two miles north of Reading city centre.
Witnesses said passers-by desperately tried to revive Olly while they waited for paramedics. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The park is only 250 yards from the £670,000 home Olly shared with his sister, mother Amanda, who works in HR, and father Stuart, both aged 51.
Parents outside Highdown School, where Olly had been due to rejoin his classmates tomorrow morning, described the killing as ‘utterly senseless’.
Several bouquets of flowers were laid, with one card reading: ‘Dearest Olly, Taken way too soon, you were such a lovely lad. Loved by many. Thinking and sending love to your family at this sad time.’
Headteacher Rachel Cave said staff and students had been left ‘reeling’ by the death of the popular pupil.
In a statement, she said: ‘For a life to be ended at such a young age is a total tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
‘Many have been deeply affected by this tragedy.’
Police at the fields backing onto Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green, Berkshire, yesterday
Floral tributes and a card left at the scene in Emmer Green yesterday after the stabbing
Floral tributes left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green yesterday, where Oliver attended
Police were guarding a large cordon around the crime scene yesterday, with forensics officers using a small tent.
Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East, told of his shock at the killing as he attended the scene yesterday.
He said: ‘This is a very quiet area, a suburban area on the edge of town and typically on a Sunday afternoon, when the incident happened, you would have a lot of families, people walking their dogs in this country park, a well-known beauty spot which is very quiet and pleasant.’
One man, who declined to give his name, said his wife was walking their dog through the park when she saw a boy on the ground with several people gathered around.
Floral tributes and a card to the boy have been left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green
Police survey the area as forensic tents are set up at Bugs Bottom in Emmer Green yesterday
They were trying to give him first aid and the boy’s face was ‘very white’, his wife told him.
Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown of Thames Valley Police said: ‘This remains a very active investigation and a large scene-watch remains in place.
‘We have arrested five young people in connection with this tragic incident, but I would urge anybody who has any information surrounding what happened yesterday to please make contact with Thames Valley Police.’
Police Federation chairman John Apter said of the incident on Twitter: ‘Horrific, so many lives will be shattered by this. Society does indeed need to take a look at itself.’