3:10pm UK, Friday February 11, 2011

Katie Stallard, in Newport

Detectives investigating the murder of Nikitta Grender in south Wales are appealing for help tracing her mobile phone as they urge a potentially vital witness to come forward.

Police issued an image of the Samsung Tocco SF80 model owned by Nikitta – her handset has not been found.

The pregnant nineteen-year-old was found dead by fire crews in the early hours of Saturday February 5 at her home in Newport, Gwent.

She had been stabbed twice and her flat set on fire – detectives believe deliberately in an attempt to cover the killer’s tracks.

Police have issued this image of a phone the same as Nikitta’s

Police said they had now traced three of the four potential witnesses captured on CCTV images issued yesterday, but repeated an appeal for a man in blue – seen walking on the Fosse Road in Pontfaen at 5:59am on Saturday morning – to come forward.

They believe he may hold crucial information and have seen something relevant to the investigation.

The images were taken from the estates around Nikitta’s flat on the morning she was attacked.

Police have renewed calls for this man to come forward

Leading the investigation for Gwent Police, Det Supt Geoff Ronayne said: “Although intensive searches have been carried out over the last few days, we have yet to find Nikitta’s mobile phone, a Samsung Tocco SF80.

“We had a very good response from the appeals we made yesterday and three out of four people captured have already come forward. We are grateful to the local community for their response to the media appeals.

“We are following many lines of enquiry and still need anyone who thinks they may be able to help to come forward.

Nikitta was eight months pregnant when she was killed

“Anyone with information can contact us in the major incident room on 01443 865562.”

He said searches were continuing at two properties in Newport, and forensic work was ongoing.

Meanwhile, detectives have been given more time to question a 26-year-old suspect.

The man, named locally as Carl Whant, is understood to be the second cousin of Nikitta’s boyfriend, Ryan Mayes.

Police can now hold Mr Whant until 6am tomorrow after securing a Magistrate’s extension late last night.

Whant, who was arrested on Wednesday, is said to have worked as a nightclub doorman in clubs and bars across Newport and Cardiff.

Nikitta had been expecting a baby girl who, it has emerged, had already been named Kelsey May.

From news.sky.com