Cops probing if teen, 13, was killed by Samurai sword as his heartbroken family tell of 'terrifying fight to get home'
POLICE are probing whether a 13-year-old boy was killed with a Samurai sword as his heartbroken family revealed his final moments.
Oliver Stephens was reportedly knifed in the back of the neck in a field in a leafy suburb of Reading on Sunday.
Cops are now probing whether a Samurai sword was used in the deadly attack just 250 yards from his home, The Telegraph reports.
A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: "This forms part of the ongoing investigation and so we would not be in a position to confirm or deny this at this stage."
Police are also investigating if the teen was lured to the beauty spot and are examining messages sent by teens on Snapchat hours before his death.
Four boys and a girl, all aged 13 and 14, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and remain in custody.
Oliver's distraught family yesterday paid tribute as they spoke of facing "every parents' worst nightmare".
They said: "In his final moments he must have been terrified. Fighting to get home, he had everything to live for. We now have only memories.
“An Olly sized hole has been left in our hearts.
“Gentle shoulder charge, love ya mate XXX.”
The family also thanked those who battled to save their "hilariously funny, charming and beautiful" son.
They continued: "My wife, daughter and I would like to whole heartedly thank the following people:
“A Good Samaritan that tried valiantly to save Oliver, an off duty doctor who also offered her help, all the emergency services that attended the scene at Bugs Bottom, Emmer Green who have been exemplary, the forensic team and all staff that are still on the case, and our families, neighbours, friends and colleagues who have sent their valued love and support.
“Oliver was an enigma, having both Autism and suspected Pathological Demand Avoidance he became a challenge we never shied away from.
"He could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin. He always stood his ground and fought for the underdog whilst having an amazing depth of love, warmth and wit."
Police were last night examining phones and computers belonging to Oliver and the young suspects in a bid to establish any possible motive for the shocking killing.
Oliver's sister Emilia had paid tribute to her younger brother, saying: "I'm so sorry I failed you, I wish I could have saved you from it all.
"We will get justice for you my angel."
She posted two touching images of Oliver alongside the post – including one of him as a baby.
Oliver – a pupil at Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre – lived in the affluent village with parents Amanda and Stuart Stephens and older sister Emilia.
Highdown School confirmed pupils had been left "reeling" from the heartbreaking news.
Headteacher Rachel Cave said: "This student was part of our community and many students and staff knew him well.
"For a life to be ended at such a young age is a total tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
"Many have been deeply affected by this tragedy. In normal circumstances we would open the school and welcome in students for support before the start of the term.
"We are currently unable to do this of course but are arranging counselling support and will be establishing an electronic book of condolence. Highdown is a supportive and close-knit community, we will work together over the coming days and weeks."
Horrified neighbours revealed their shock at the teen's killing in the leafy Berkshire suburb.
One said: "This is a really nice area, I have lived here nearly 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.
"Bugs Bottom fields are an area we walk in frequently, as a lot of people around here do."
Sue Borton, 77, said: "The last year was such an awful year and now this has happened already – I can’t imagine what the victim's family are feeling."
While one local resident said: "I know it was a young teen who has been stabbed.
"I feel so desperately sad for the lad's parents – what must they be going through – so soon after Christmas and into the New Year?
"It is a real tragedy. I haven't heard what sparked the attack but the fact the scene is in a field is quite unusual."
Police are now appealing for information and are asking any witnesses to come forward.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown, head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “Our thoughts remain with Olly’s family at this incredibly difficult time.
“I would urge anyone who has any information that they believe is relevant to this investigation, no matter how small you think it is, to please get in touch.
“If you do have any images or footage I would ask that you please do not share it on social media, but instead report it to us.
Call police on 101 or online, quoting reference 43210002635, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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