Record £200,000 reward offered in hunt for killer of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

Merseyside Police have arrested nine men as part of their investigation into her death but all have since been bailed.

A record £200,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers in the hunt for the killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

Last week the charity’s founder and chairman Lord Ashcroft put up £50,000 for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible for the schoolgirl’s death.

On Wednesday the reward was increased thanks to the offer of £100,000 from a private donor which the peer has matched.

Olivia was fatally shot in the chest in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on Monday August 22.

Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured as the gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into their property at about 10pm.

Merseyside Police have arrested nine men as part of their investigation into her death but all have since been bailed.

Latest on the police murder investigation

Merseyside detective chief superintendent Mark Kameen has appealed for patience as the force investigates the murder.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said: “I recognise that people will wonder and question why no one has been charged despite those [nine] arrests.

DCS Mark Kameen and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police speak to the media at force headquarters in Rose Hill

“If I could reassure you that this is normal practice in any complex investigation, the threshold for arresting somebody is far lower than that of charging someone. Please be patient with us. The investigation is progressing.

“The detectives involved in bringing justice for Olivia and her family are working tirelessly with real care and passion to achieve the objective of securing those charges against everyone involved in her murder. No matter how small their role.”

Officers in the investigation have worked more than 15,000 hours, trawled through thousands of hours of CCTV and investigated more than 400 pieces of intelligence passed on by the public.

Search for murder weapons

The two guns used by the killer on the night of Olivia’s murder have now been identified by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

The gun responsible for killing Olivia is a .38 revolver. The second, a Glock-type self-loading 9mm pistol, has been used in three separate incidents on Merseyside across a two-and-a-half-year period.

It was used in Wimbourne Close, Dovecot, on 27 January 2020 when a 19-year-old man was targeted.

The next incident occurred on 8 August 2022, in Finch Way, Dovecot, when two rival groups, one in a car and the other on motorcycles, fired shots indiscriminately whilst near to some playing fields. This shooting took place just around the corner from Olivia’s house and just two weeks before her murder.

A map of where the Glock was used on three separate occasions on Merseyside. Image: Merseyside Police

The Glock was then used in the shooting at Kingsheath Avenue, along with a .38 revolver was responsible for the fatal wounding of Olivia.

Det chief supt Kameen said: “These are incredibly dangerous weapons that are in the hand or hands of people that don’t care about anyone else. Therefore, why should you show them any loyalty?

“We know that one of these guns has been used in three separate incidents and I am determined to take these weapons off our streets, before they can maim or kill anyone else.”

Reward for conviction of killer

Announcing Crimestoppers’s biggest single reward offer, Lord Ashcroft said: “This case has been incredibly shocking, not just for those who are directly affected but also for Liverpool and the nation as a whole.

“I am delighted that with the support of a private donor, Crimestoppers can now offer a record £200,000 for information to catch Olivia’s killer.

“A precious young life has been lost so we need every effort to find those involved in this appalling killing.”

Crimestoppers is independent of the police and takes information about crime completely anonymously.

The charity’s chief executive, Mark Hallas, said: “If you’re too scared to speak to the police, please remember that our charity, Crimestoppers, is here to help you do the right thing.

Innocent victim: Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot at her home in Knotty Ash, Liverpool

“Tell Crimestoppers what you know whilst staying completely anonymous. Please understand: Crimestoppers has kept its promise to protect your identity since we started back in the late 1980s

“You can contact us via our website or call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111. Details about how to claim this reward are available online (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).

“When you contact Crimestoppers we never ask for or store personal details. All we ask is that you tell us what you know about who killed Olivia so that there can be some slow healing for her mother, her family, the city of Liverpool and everyone who has been touched by this truly awful murder.”

Hundreds line the street for funeral of Olivia

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Knotty Ash on Thursday last week for Olivia’s funeral.

The coffin of Olivia Pratt-Korbel is carried into at St Margaret Mary's Church in Liverpool. Picture: Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images

Her funeral service was held at St Margaret Mary’s Church where mourners were asked to wear pink, in honour of the nine year old’s favourite colour.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, offered her ‘prayers, love and support’ to the family and described the nine-year-old’s murder as a ‘crime beyond belief’.

She said: “A life of innocence, devastatingly taken in the place where she was safest - home. Today we offer our prayers, love and support to Olivia’s family as they lay her to rest. Let us hope justice is swift and true.”