Throughout the month of February, we’re telling the story of the 21 teenagers who were murdered in 2023. Our campaign, The 21, seeks to remember every victim as a young person with a family and their whole life ahead of them. We want to change the culture of kids carrying knives and becoming involved in violence.

This is the face of Elianne Andam, a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death in Croydon in 2023.

Name: Elianne Andam

Age: 15

From: Croydon

Here is a timeline of events and everything we know so far about her death:

Wednesday, September 27:

Elianne Andam met up with two friends on her way to school when she was attacked in Wellesley Road at 8.30am.

It is claimed her attacker, wearing a mask and gloves, had removed a large knife from his waistband and stabbed Elianne repeatedly.

As he fled the scene, others attempted to administer first aid but Elianne could not be saved.

The 15-year-old was pronounced dead just after 9.20am.

Arrest made:

At around 75 minutes after the attack, a 17-year-old boy, who is believed to be known to Elianne, was arrested in New Addington.

He was taken into police custody for questioning by detectives.

Thursday, September 28:

Elianne’s family paid tribute to her describing her as “bright” and “funny” who had many friends who adored her.

They added that she “had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future which have now been shattered.”

Her family said: “Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

“Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

“She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

“All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.”

Friday, September 29:

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, appeared at Croydon Magistrates' Court.

He was charged with murder and possession of a knife.

Tuesday, October 3:

The 17-year-old defendant appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murder and having a knife.

He wore a black sweater and grey jogging bottoms and sat between officers in the dock.

The defendant was remanded into youth detention accommodation.

It was decided that he would face a murder trial at the Old Bailey on April 29, 2024.  

Wednesday, October 4:

Mourners gathered outside Whitgift Shopping to pay respects to Elianne who was stabbed at the same spot.

Elianne’s mum, Dorcas Andam, paid tribute to her “smart, charismatic” daughter, who “loved living life to the fullest”.

She said: “She brought joy to so many, including her friendship group

“She was an amazing, beautiful, girl.

“She loved and touched lives around her.”

Ms Andam continued: “I can’t believe we won’t be seeing her anymore. I can’t believe she won’t be there to complain about her teenage activities.

“We should be planning her prom after year 11. She wanted to be a lawyer, and had so much to live for.

She said her daughter was “just a normal teenager”.

She added: “It was a sad day for the whole family, now we are planning her funeral.”

Stormzy, real name Michael Omari Owuo Jr, was also spotted standing silently beside her family as they led mourners in prayer.

Saturday, November 11:

The memorial service for Elianne took place at the New Life Christian Centre in Croydon.

A white carriage, pulled by four white horses adorned with pink plumes, pulled Elianne's coffin to the service.

Speaking ahead of the funeral, Elianne’s aunts Regina Boafo and Ruby Paintsil said it would be a celebration of her life because “she’s a girl that liked to bring joy to people’s lives”.

Ms Painsil told the BBC her niece wanted to “defend the voiceless and said: “She doesn’t like injustice; she likes justice for people.

“Every time she’d get in trouble (it was) fighting for someone else.”

She added that the service would be a celebration and said: “If Elianne was here she’d say ‘go on, have fun, don’t break down’, and things like that.”

Ms Boafo added: “It will be nice to celebrate it and for us, she will forever remain in our hearts – she can never be gone.”

Ms Paintsil said that Elianne’s mother, Dorcas Andam, was trying to be strong and added: “She is broken a lot … we have to keep comforting her. She hasn’t been herself, every day broken into pieces.”