Lilia Valutyte's family issue words of tribute to their 'cheeky' daughter who 'loved to dance'
The family of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte have shared new images of the girl they say “always tried to make fun” as they plan to create a statue of her.
The pictures show Lilia dressed in a blue bubble suit, at a bike show in Boston, larking about in the kitchen, at an aquarium, and at a dance competition sharing a hug with her sister.
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police, who have shared the images, said: “All show a smiling girl, one whose possibility, achievements and wishes have ended at the age of nine.
"Mum Lina and stepfather Aurelijus say the statue will become a lasting tribute to their daughter.
“Speaking quietly as younger sister Liepa, three, played with a balloon from Frozen, Lina said that as parents they want to look forwards as they remember her, and they are calling on others to do the same. It is hoped the statue will be installed in Boston town centre, close to the street where she lost her life.”
Lina said: “Lilia was grown in that street, every week she spent down there playing, and it happened next to the window.
“The memorial is a way for her to still be there, and we’re now fundraising to get it.”
The statue will either take the form of an angel with Lilia’s face, or it will take her full likeness.
As previously reported, a close family friend has set up the fundraising page through Just Giving, and donations can be made via that website.
It is fitting for the memorial statue to be placed in Boston, the family say, as Lilia lived there nearly all her life in the town.
Born at Boston Pilgrim Hospital, Lilia most recently attended Boston Pioneers Academy in Fydell Crescent, and prior to that was a pupil at Carlton Road Academy. The family had moved away for a short time, but came back to the town.
Adding his own memories as Lina smiled and nodded, Aurelijus added: “She was cheeky; quiet in one way and then other ways she wasn't. She always tried to make fun.”
It is the normalcy of everyday life that will no longer be experienced, which is hard for the family to deal with.
Lina added: "It’s hard to know what to say. She was just a normal child, one day she’s happy and another she isn’t, one day she wants to eat pancakes and another she doesn’t - the usual things. She loved to dance, travel and try new things, and annoy her sister. She wanted to go to Italy, so we will probably go anyway next year.”
The family remain private about the more personal details of Lilia’s life, and their memories of her. “There are so many things we could say, but we are not going to talk a lot about who she was and share those stories from our home; they are ours and we want to keep them for us,” said Lina.
“You find yourself looking for her everywhere. We had four corners and now one is gone.”
Arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made.