A teenage boy accused of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl has been remanded in custody until June.
The 16-year-old was not asked to enter a plea to the charge of murder of Viktorija Sokolova during a hearing before a judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday.
The body of Lithuanian-born Viktorija was found by a member of the public in West Park, Wolverhampton, at about 7am on Thursday last week.
Judge James Burbidge QC was told that the 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, is likely to stand trial in October.
The youth, whose father was in the courtroom, spoke only to confirm his identity and personal details during the proceedings, which lasted for around 10 minutes.
There was no application for bail and the boy was ordered to reappear at the same court on June 8.
A second teenage boy, aged 17, was arrested on suspicion of murder and has been bailed pending further investigation.
Viktorija’s relatives, who did not attend the court hearing, have described her as “a little angel” who made their lives “so colourful and full of meaning”.
Jamie Morgan, acting principal of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy and Nursery, the school Viktorija attended until 2015, expressed deep shock at her death.
In a statement issued on Monday, he said: “She was a joy to teach; a hard-working, well-liked, lovely girl whose positive and fun personality was infectious.
“We offer our thoughts and prayers to all of her family at this tragic time.”