updated 7/3/2005 9:17:08 PM ET 2005-07-04T01:17:08

A 14-year-old American girl was stabbed and killed in a quiet seaside village on the island of Tobago, police said Saturday.

Kitty Nichole Pepe was killed late Friday night in the apartment she had been sharing with her mother in Charlotteville, a village on the northeastern tip of Tobago, said police inspector Glen Sharpe.

Police were searching for a 22-year-old local man whom the landlord saw leaving the apartment with a knife. The landlord told police he went to the apartment after hearing screams and found Pepe’s body on the floor. She had been stabbed in the eye and stomach. Police said they believe the girl had been dating the 22-year-old.

The girl’s mother, Heather Pepe, was not in the apartment at the time of the attack.

Police could not immediately provide the girl’s hometown or say how long she and her mother had been in Tobago.

While homicides and kidnappings have been rising in Trinidad, violent crime is rare in its smaller sister island of Tobago. Pepe was the fifth homicide victim on the island of 55,000 people this year. There have been more than 140 homicides in Trinidad, population 1.2 million.

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