Police link murders of two teenagers in south-east London | UK News

Police have named two teenagers who were stabbed to death a mile apart in south-east London and confirmed they believe the murders are connected.

The boys, both 16, have been identified as Kearnie Solanke and Charlie Bartolo.

Solanke was found stabbed in Titmuss Avenue, Thamesmead, and Bartolo was discovered in Sewell Road, Abbey Wood, on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking on Titmuss Avenue, Detective Superintendent Richard McDonagh of the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Colleague homicides are investigating and treating the two murders as linked.’

McDonagh said police wanted to hear from witnesses who may have seen a dark 4×4 vehicle: ‘Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a dark colored SUV or type 4×4 with distinctive silver roof bars in the areas around Sewell Road or Titmuss Avenue in the days leading up to the killings. We have already heard from a number of witnesses, and I appreciate them.

He added: ‘I can assure everyone affected by these murders that trained detectives will work tirelessly to find out what happened and provide answers to young victims and families.

Police were called around 5.10pm on Saturday to report that people had been injured at both locations.

McDonagh said: ‘Emergency services responded immediately and at each location found a 16-year-old boy suffering from stab wounds. Tragically, both boys died of their injuries.

He added: “As deputy borough commander of the Met’s South East Command Unit, I join the community in being deeply saddened and outraged by these senseless killings.” Specialized agents accompany bereaved families.

McDonagh said: “Combating violence is a priority for the Met. Days like today show why our work is so important and why I must once again call on all communities in London to work with us and our partners so that we do all we can together to prevent such tragedies.

He added: “I am appealing to all witnesses who may have seen any of the incidents. I’m also interested in speaking with those who knew Charlie and Kearne and might be able to offer any information or insight into the senseless murders.

Several teenagers laid flowers near the Titmuss Avenue cordon, where a forensic tent could be seen by overturned trash cans.

Victor, 30, a football coach who says he went to school with the mother of one victim, said the stabbings were “not normal” for the area but things had gotten worse these last years.

“A lot of things are happening in the street with young people, it’s because of the lack of youth centres. There isn’t really a place where kids say “it’s a safe environment”.

Gillian Southwest, 48, who also lives down the road, said: ‘It’s terrible. I have lived here for 28 years. If it’s the boy, I think it’s a really good boy.

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