EXCLUSIVE: Fruit picker, 22, accused of murdering nine-year-old schoolgirl Lilia Valutyte was a ‘well educated’ altar boy in his local village church in Lithuania
- Exclusive: Deividas Skebas helped conduct mass at church in his early years
- He appeared in court on Monday after being charged and remanded in custody
- His family have reportedly contacted Lilia’s mother and offered their support
The fruit picker who is accused of the murder of nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte was once an altar boy in his local village church in Lithuania, it was revealed today.
Deividas Skebas wore white robes and helped his local priest conduct mass and at ceremonies such as christenings and wedding when he was a young teenager.
MailOnline can now publish a picture of dark-haired Skebas, 22, when he was aged around 14 at his first holy communion in St Joseph church in Leliūnai, Lithuania.
One villager said: ‘Everyone here is shocked that he has been charged with the murder of a little girl. People remember him here as an ordinary, and polite boy.’
Skebas was charged last Sunday with the murder of Lithuanian national Lilia who was stabbed to death outside her mother’s embroidery shop in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Deividas Skebas pictured in white robes for his first holy communion at his local church, aged around 14
Nine-year-old Lilia Valutyte was playing just ‘ten steps away’ from where her mother, Lina, was working at the time of the attack
Deividas Skebas, 22 leaves Lincoln Crown Court on Monday, August 1, after being charged with Lilia’s murder
Skebas lived in this apartment block with his mother, father and 18-year-old sister, but had moved to the UK to work
The horrific incident happened as she was playing in a quiet town centre lane with her favourite hula-hoop and her five-year-old sister on Thursday July 30.
Skebas grew up in the tiny village of Leliūnai, around ten miles from the industrial city of Utena in north east Lithuania.
His mother Daiva Skebienė, 42, who owns a flower shop in Utena and his builder father Darius Skebas still live with their 18-year-old daughter in the top floor apartment of a three storey block in the village.
The family are believed to be building a new house for themselves nearby.
Skebas is thought to have spend most of his formative years in the village which is dominated by its redbrick Roman Catholic church on a small hill.
He is believed to have worked for a period with his father in Norway before moving to the UK to work in a factory in Lincolnshire.
It is believed that he had recently returned to the UK after moving back to his homeland for a period.
At the time of Lilia’s death, he was living in a Victorian semi-detached house overlooking a park in Thorold Street, Boston, around 200 yards from the spot in Fountain Lane where the schoolgirl died from a single stab wound to her chest.
Skebas’ grandmother Danutė Titenienė also lives in a house in Leliūnai with her seriously ill husband, and works as senior officer for the local municipal council.
Another villager described Skebas as a ‘polite, kind, sincere, well-educated young man’ in an interview with Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas.
The resident added: ‘We met last summer in a store. He came up, said hello, and asked how I was doing.
‘I asked him: ‘Why are you in such a hurry, Deividas?’. He said that he was running because he and his parents were building a house.’
A member of staff at one of the two shops in the village described Skebas as ‘always a polite, pleasant young man’.
The assistant added: ‘The last time I saw him was maybe a couple of months ago. He didn’t raise any suspicions. He didn’t seem to be doing anything wrong – he was as cute as ever.’
Another elderly resident said: ‘David was a good kid. Maybe he didn’t finish his studies, but he used to go to work with his father in Norway.
‘I was even surprised that David was in England now, because he really used to work in Norway.’
Another villager told MailOnline: ‘Danutė is a very kind lady and very well known locally because she brought up her brother’s four children.
‘Her daughter and her husband are also very nice people and are well respected. Nobody can believe what has happened.’
Skebas is thought to have spend most of his formative years in the village which is dominated by its redbrick Roman Catholic church on a small hill (Pictured today, August 07)
Lina Savicke, Lilia’s mother, said Skebas’s mother had got in touch to extend her condolences and told her they would do ‘everything they can’ to help her family
The death of Lilia prompted an outpouring of grief in Boston which is known for its large Eastern European community.
Hundreds of floral tributes as well as cuddly toys have been left by local people in tribute to her at the top of Fountain Lane.
Lilia’s family friend Jurate Matulioniene decribed her in a Facebook tribute as ‘a 9-year-old angel’ and ‘one of the most beautiful creatures’, saying: ‘None will feel her mother’s pain.’
She added: ‘The girl was a ray of the sunlight, just like her parents, who were the main helpers of our community and school events. The pain is unspeakable. We are devastated at this shocking news! Rest in peace, little angel.’
Other friends told how Lilia who lived with her mother Lina Savicke and stepfather Aurelijus Savickas loved dancing and Harry Potter books.
She died from a single stab wound at around 6.20pm on July 30 in Fountain Lane, just 100 yards from the town’s famous St Botolph’s Church, known as the Boston Stump.
The incident happened outside the Sava Code embroidery and screen printing shop which was opened by her Lithuanian mother Lina Savicke in March this year.
Lina and her husband, who was Lilia’s stepfather, are known as prominent members of Boston’s large Lithuanian community and are regularly involved in community activities.
Lina, who also works at a recruitment office next door to her shop, recalled the horrifying moment of her daughter’s death in an interview last week.
She said that her daughter was stabbed ‘just ten steps’ away from where she was working.
Lina said: ‘On that fateful day I was giving a gift to my friend when the children were playing outside my windows.
‘As I ran around the corner, I heard someone calling me, ‘Mum!’
‘I go out and see how my little girl was standing a metre away from the big one and she just bled to death.’
Lina also revealed that Skebas’ mother had called her to offer condolences and offer support.
She told news website Delfi Plus: ‘His mother called… I heard he comes from a very good family. She promised to take care of everything that she is able to.’
Skebas mother refused to comment at her home today. She briefly opened her front door as a dog barked in the background, saying: ‘I will definitely not speak to you’.