Wales

Nikitta Grender murder: man charged

Nikitta Grender
Image caption Nikitta Grender was found dead a week ago

A 26-year-old man has been charged with the murder of pregnant teenager Nikitta Grender, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Carl Whant will also face a charge of child destruction and will appear at Caerphilly Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Ms Grender, 19, was found dead in her burning flat in Broadmead Park, Liswerry, Newport on 5 February.

She was heavily pregnant with a girl, named Kelsey-May by her family.

Ms Grender, who was two weeks away from giving birth, was stabbed twice and her flat set on fire.

Gwent Police arrested the 26-year-old from Newport on Wednesday.

He is the second cousin of the victim's boyfriend Ryan Mayes, 18, who is the father of her baby.

Stacey Turner, district crown prosecutor for CPS Gwent, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely alongside Gwent police as the investigation into Nikitta Grender's murder progressed.

"We can now confirm that, having carefully examined a file of evidence provided by Gwent police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Carl Whant with the murder of Nikitta Grender and that it is in the public interest to do so. Accordingly, we have advised Gwent police to charge him.

"This remains a very difficult time for Nikitta's family. They have been informed of our decision by the police and we hope to be able to meet with them soon to explain the trial process and answer any questions they may have."

Det Sup Geoff Ronayne said: "Following the discovery of Nikitta Grender's body at her address last Saturday morning in Broadmead Park, Gwent Police began an investigation into her murder and a 26-year-old man from the Newport area was arrested.

"A file of evidence has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service. Our thoughts and condolences remain with Nikitta and Kelsey-May's family at this time and we will continue to provide them with support for the foreseeable future."

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