By Kimone Witter
Arrangements are being made to question the suspect who is in custody in connection with the rape and murder of nine-year-old Nikita Noel in Lucea, Hanover on Wednesday.
Her mother, Nordia Edwards, says she became concerned when Nikita, affectionately called Joanna, did not return from school.
The matter was reported to the Hanover police who led a search team to the area.
The child's body was found sometime after 8 p.m. in bushes, metres from her home.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers, Commander of the Area 1 Division, says the suspect – a 42-year-old man – is known to the family.
ACP Chambers says while a decision was taken to place the man into protective custody, that status could change as the investigation progresses.
Three people, including children are to provide statements. ACP Chambers says they last saw Nikita alive.
Education Minister Fayval Williams has expressed deep sadness at the death of the nine year-old Esher Primary School student.
Mrs Williams says Nikita's brutal assault and murder is a sad reflection of callous barbarity that characterises elements in the society.
She is urging anyone who may have information that could help the police in their investigations to come forward.
The Ministry has reached out through its regional office to offer counselling services to Nikita's immediate family and school community.