Heartbreaking tributes are being paid to a schoolboy who came to the UK for a “better future” and was found dead two days before his 13th birthday.
The body of 12-year-old Roberts Buncis was found on a patch of common land in the quiet village of Fishtoft, Lincolnshire, just after 10am on Saturday.
Roberts, who would have turned 13 today (Monday), was described as a “kind” and “popular” student at Haven High Academy, in Boston, who was destined for a “life of joy, happiness and success”.
Originally from Latvia, he was being raised by his single father Edgars Buncis, who brought him to the UK to give him a better life, a family friend told the Mirror.
A 14-year-old boy appeared in court on Monday after being charged with murder, and a 19-year-old man arrested at the weekend remains in police custody.
The 14-year-old suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons was remanded in custody.
Family friend Edijs Peculis told the Mirror that Roberts moved to the UK from his native Latvia six years ago.
Mr Peculis said: “He was a nice boy, originally from the Latvian city Liepaja.
“Edgars with Roberts came for the first time to England in 2014 December.
“Edgars is a hard-working man and for a better future for the child the family moved to Boston.
Today is Roberts’ birthday.”
It is understood Roberts’ mum lives in Latvia.
Heartbroken friends wishes Roberts a happy birthday “in heaven”, with one writing on Facebook: “May you have the best time of your life up there and party hard for your 13th.”
A devastated school friend told the Mirror that Roberts was a popular student at Haven High Academy, where they would chat about YouTube channels.
The 12-year-old boy said: “He was kind, caring and he often came up to me and said ‘do you want to talk’ and that.
“He did have a lot of friends that he used to play with.
“Those that do know him, they’re sad.”
Flowers and a tie, which is part of Roberts’ school’s uniform, were left at a memorial near the scene of the alleged murder
Paying tribute on social media, a family friend wrote: “Another innocent child lost… I can’t believe that you’re gone already at such a young age.
“You were such a sweet boy and would put such big smiles on peoples faces.
“I can’t believe the pain your family is going through right now, this news is so devastating, and it happened so fast.