A 54-year-old man arrested after eight-year-old Mylee Billingham was stabbed to death is her father, police have said.
Mylee died in hospital after being found critically wounded in a bungalow in Brownhills, near Walsall, on Saturday night.
The arrested man, named locally as Bill Billingham, is critically ill with stab injuries after what West Midlands Police said was a “domestic incident.”
He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is expected to undergo surgery so is yet to be questioned.
Billingham reportedly posted a photo of his daughter on Facebook at around 8.15pm on Saturday evening. In it she can be seen tucked up in bed with two plates of pizza. It is captioned “Pitza on bed lv moo x.”
Billingham’s brother is former SAS sergeant major Mark Billingham, who appears in Channel 4’s show SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Floral tributes, notes and teddy bears have been tied to a post outside the property, in remembrance of Mylee.
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.”
Neighbour Graham Greatrex, 74, told how emergency services rushed to the quiet street at 9.15pm.
Greatrex, who lives a few doors from the crime scene, said that as he helped the mother she said a man had “stabbed my little girl”.
He added: “She was in shock and she couldn’t say anything else.”
On Sunday the home was being searched by forensics experts in the cordoned-off, one-storey dwelling, which is believed to belong to the local authority.
It was one of a row of terraced bungalows in the street.
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, who is leading the investigation, said: “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.”
Greatrex said a man had lived there for the past six months after the previous occupier, a woman, had died.
But he said he did not know the current occupant.
He added: “It was a bit of a shock. You can’t imagine it happening on our doorstep, especially when it’s a little girl.”
Other neighbours said they were also stunned at news that a child had died.
Bob Weir lives two doors away from the bungalow where the stabbing happened.
Weir, 72, added that a middle-aged man apparently lived alone at the property that was sealed off by police.
The pensioner told reporters: “I didn’t hear until this morning what it was and I was absolutely shocked – I didn’t know the bloke who lived there and he hadn’t lived there long, maybe six months, if that.
“There were police cars both sides of the road, ambulances… all sorts.
“I didn’t know there were any kids in there. I thought he just lived on his own. I never saw a girl or a woman there.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “I only knew the guy to say hello to and I think he was married and was living there on his own.
“I didn’t hear anything before the police got here.
“It’s really sad. This is not the sort of area where you hear of anybody being stabbed.”