A man arrested after Mylee Billingham was stabbed to death in the West Midlands is eight-year-old’s father, police have revealed.
The girl died in hospital after she was found with serious injuries at her home in Valley View in the small town of Brownhills near Walsall on Saturday evening.
Her father, 54-year-old Bill Billingham, is in hospital with what is believed to be a self-inflicted stab wound to the stomach.
His condition has improved from critical to serious and he and is expected to undergo surgery before being questioned by police.
Neighbour Graham Greatrex said Mylee’s “hysterical” mother, Tracey Taundry, was screaming that someone had “stabbed my little girl” as he tried to help her on the night of the incident.
The 74-year-old, who lives a few doors from the scene, added: “She was in shock and she couldn’t say anything else”.
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Police have confirmed the stabbing is being treated as a “domestic incident” and that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death.
The suspect posted a picture of Mylee on his Facebook page just an hour before police were called at 9.15 on Saturday night with the caption: “Pitza on bed lv moo x”.
In the picture – which was “liked” by her mother and eight other family members and friends – the girl is tucked up in bed and smiling towards the camera with two plates of pizza on her lap.
Mylee was a pupil at the St James Primary School in Brownhills, where pupils and staff are being offered support and counselling.
Her father reportedly has five children and neighbours said he had doted on Mylee, who he nicknamed “Moo”.
The eight-year-old’s uncle, former SAS sergeant major Mark Billingham who appears in the Chanel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins, issued a short statement on behalf of the family asking for their privacy to be respected.
Neighbour Bob Weir told the Birmingham Mail of his shock.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw in this street. Police cars both sides of the street … all sorts.
“I’m just totally stunned.”
He added: “I had seen the man who lived there and spoken to him but I didn’t know his name. I had never seen a girl there.
“The bungalows are owned by Walsall Housing Group and it is normally a pretty quiet area.”
Mylee’s mother is not believed to have lived at the property where the tragedy happened.
Floral tributes, notes and teddy bears have been tied to a post outside the property where the youngster – said to be an Ed Sheeran superfan – was killed.
One note read: “Mylee, our superstar dancer, you will be the brightest star shining in the sky tonight. We will never forget your happy, smiling face. Fly high xxxx.”
Another said: “We shouldn’t be writing this!!! Fly high princess into the arms of the angels…taken far too young, your pretty face we will never forget.”
Local councillor Ken Ferguson told reporters: “It’s absolutely devastating news. Someone so young has had their life taken away, I can’t comprehend it.”
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “This is an absolutely tragic set of circumstances and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.
”We are still at the early stages of understanding exactly what happened and why – but I can confirm we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this investigation.“
A post-mortem was scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon.