A WOMAN with a mental history was last night still being questioned about the horrific murder of a 13-year-old girl who was found bleeding to death in a Doncaster park.
Casey-Lyanne Kearney died eight hours after she called police from Elmfield Park on her own phone to say she had been stabbed.
She had just got off a bus from Rossington in Bennetthorpe and may have been walking through the park towards Chequer Road when she was attacked.
The murder bears uncanny parallels with the Emma Brodie case in Doncaster more than 20 years ago.
She was an 11-year-old girl who was stabbed to death while shopping in the Frenchgate Centre in April 1991. Her killer, Carol Barratt, 24, was a mental patient who was later sent to Rampton top security hospital.
Extra police were patrolling near the park last night to reassure people as Doncaster police commander Peter Norman stressed it “appears to be an isolated, random and unprovoked incident”.
A/Chf Supt Norman has also met with other agencies, including social services and mental health serives to establish what light they could shed on the background of the 26-year-old woman who was arrested shortly after the incident.
Although two knives were recovered after the stabbing police officers were still combing ther park and surrounding area looking for further evidence because at the moment they do not know exactly where Casey-Lyanne was attacked.
She left her home about 12pm on Tuesday and got the 55 bus to the stop near the war memorial and at 1.18pm called police to say she’d been stabbbed.
Tennis coach Willis family who was in the park, also raised the alarm and helped her until paramedics arrived.
He said: “I ran over as soon as I could, when I arrived a woman was tending to Casey and I tried to help.
“We didn’t know what had happened at the time. The kids said she was walking normally then hunched over as though she was looking for some keys in a bag.
“The police arrived shortly after and helped with the medical side of things until the paramedics arrived and took over completely.
“The crew had only been there for around a minute when they asked for everyone to make some room. It was then that we knew she had been stabbed.
“It all felt very surreal but the full horror of what has happened is beginning to sink in.”
The man leading the police investigation, Det Supt Terry Mann, said staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary “worked tirelessly to save her but unfortunately and tragically Casey-Lyanne lost her fight for life.”
He appealed to members of the public who were in and around Elmfield Park between 12-1pm to come forward if they saw anything suspicious.
The schoolgirl was said to be 5ft 3ins tall, with long straight ginger hair, and was wearing a black waist-length coat, blue jeans, knee-length black boots, and a Bench shoulder bag.
“It is half term, people were likely to have been in the area at the time of the incident, using the park facilities or passing through.
“Please think about your movements yesterday - did you see Casey. Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the park area yesterday lunchtime?
“I can’t urge anyone enough, any detail no matter how small, please come forward. Think about what Casey’s family are going through - imagine if this was your daughter, sister, niece or friend.”
Although Mr Mann declined to comment on the woman in custody, it is understood she has a mental history but had not just been released from a mental institution.
A post-mortem examination was taking place last night and the recovered knives were being foensically examined.
Mr Mann said Casey-Lyanne came from a loving family and “as you can imagine the death of a 13-year-old child has left them traumatised.”
Robbery appears not to be the motive for the attack and Mr Norman stressed the park was a low-level crime area with only minor incidents of anti-social behacviour in recent months.
Detectives have already been granted extra time to question the woman. Anyone with information should calkl the major incident room on 01709 443510.