Images of four ‘persons of interest’ in the carjacking death of a 70-year-old retired religion teacher have been released by police in a desperate attempt to track down those responsible for her murder.
Vyleen White, 70, was stabbed to death in the underground carpark of Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre, in southwest Brisbane, about 6.10pm on Saturday.
Her six-year-old granddaughter witnessed the horror attack and screamed for help as the knifeman fled in her grandmother’s blue 2009 Hyundai Getz.
Ms White’s stolen car was later found in Springfield Lakes and has since been seized by police to be forensically examined.
As harrowing details of Ms White’s final conversation with her husband of almost 50 years were revealed, homicide detectives ramped up their major manhunt by releasing CCTV footage of four people they believed could assist with their investigation.
The group is described as possibly a mix of adult and juvenile males who appear to be African. They remained on the run late Sunday night.
Vyleen White (pictured) was stabbed to death in the underground carpark of Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre on Saturday
Police have released CCTV of four males they believe can assist with their inquiries
‘Investigators believe the four people depicted in the vision, captured from a Bruny Street, Springfield Lakes, address yesterday evening, may be able to assist them with their inquiries,’ Queensland Police said.
‘The vision also depicts a vehicle of interest previously mentioned in an earlier media release, a blue 2009 Hyundai Getz with Queensland registration 432 TYO.’
Investigators appealed to anyone who saw the group in the Redbank Plains and Springfield Lakes areas between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday to contact police.
People with relevant CCTV and dashcam footage were also asked to come forward.
As police ramped up their manhunt, more than 100 people attended a candlelit vigil to pay tribute to Ms White on Sunday night.
It prompted a message from Ms White’s shattered family thanking the community for their incredible support.
Ms White was described as one of the most caring and compassionate people in the world.
Her daughter Danice White revealed the grandmother was doing a grocery shop at the centre ahead of plans for a bible study later Saturday night.
Investigators on Sunday released CCTV footage of four ‘persons of interest’ leaving Ms White’s stolen car (pictured, officers at the scene)
‘We are all pretty numb and shaken up, we’ve got high blood pressure at the moment,’ Danice told Courier Mail.
‘I’m struggling to control my thoughts right now.’
Danice recalled her father had told Ms White to go to a different shopping centre before she was attacked.
‘Dad said, ‘Why don’t you to go to Redbank plaza?’. If only she’d listened that day, it would have not been her,’ she said.
The 70-year-old retiree has been remembered as kind-hearted with a devotion to helping others, particularly the homeless.
She was about to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, who relied on her help to navigate the world after becoming blind.
Detective Acting Superintendent Heath McQueen described the stabbing as an ‘abhorrent, cowardly, violent attack’ and called for public assistance in identifying the four people (pictured) seen leaving Ms White’s stolen car
Local doctor Ademola Afolabi was the first person to arrive at the confronting scene of the stabbing.
He’d heard Ms White’s granddaughter shouting ‘my grandma is dead’ and followed her from outside Aldi to the carpark.
‘I saw a lady in a pool of blood, she was unresponsive, so I called triple-0,’ he said.
‘Her pants were soaked in blood, probably bleeding from the chest area.’
Mr Afolabi said it was ‘too late’ to help Ms White by the time paramedics arrived, adding her attacker ‘didn’t give her chance’.
Detective Acting Superintendent Heath McQueen called for public assistance in identifying the four people who ‘dumped the victim’s vehicle in the street at Springfield Lakes, exited that vehicle and walked away’.
‘I can say, there’s believed to be one person involved in the attack on this elderly lady, operating alone,’ he said.
‘However, we may identify further offenders that are involved who are peripherally linked to this offender who has committed the homicide.’
Supt McQueen earlier described the scene as ‘very harrowing’ and acknowledge that while Ms White’s six-year-old granddaughter was unharmed in the attack, it will ‘leave a scar on her’.
‘Let’s be clear, this is an abhorrent, cowardly, violent attack on a 70-year-old grandmother in front of her six-year-old granddaughter,’ he said.
‘This is a very confronting scene we have been faced.’
On Sunday night, a GoFundMe was set up by a friend named Katherine Lameree to raise money for Ms White’s funeral and to support the grieving family.
Ms Lameree emphasised ‘Vyleen’s legacy… [as] a selfless woman – with so much care for her family and absolutely anyone she came into contact with.’
By 11:30pm, the fundraiser had reached $3,995 and was well on its way to hitting its target of $5,000.
Local doctor Ademola Afolabi heard Ms White’s granddaughter shouting ‘my grandma is dead’ and followed her from outside Aldi (pictured) to the carpark