The mother of university student Libby Squire, whose body was found last week after a near seven-week search, has told of her family’s heartache at the loss of her “darling” daughter.
The 21-year-old’s body was found in the Humber Estuary on Wednesday afternoon and police have confirmed they are treating her death as a “potential homicide”.
She had been missing since the early hours of Friday February 1 following an evening out in Hull and her disappearance sparked an intensive search.
In an emotional tribute, her mother Lisa Squire affectionately referred to her daughter as “Pie”, and said she had lost “one of the 4 most precious things in my life”.
Writing on Facebook she said: “I cannot thank you enough my darling Pie for making me a mummy. For choosing me to be your mummy. It’s an honour, a privilege and a joy.
“I kept you safe for as long as I could and I am so sorry I could not keep you safe on that night. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.
“I love you my beautiful girl with all my being and I always will.”
Mrs Squire said her “heart is broken” for her daughter’s friends, and told of the grief of her other children, her husband, and the rest of the family.
She wrote: “No sisters should have that special girl they have known for all their time on this earth taken from her.
“No 11 year old brother should have his idol taken from him.
“No dad should have his first born little girl, his princess, taken from him.”
Mrs Squire said her lowest point was having to inform her daughter’s boyfriend of her death.
“He made her happy. She made him happy. That made me happy,” she wrote.
In a statement issued on Friday, Detective Superintendent Martin Smalley, of Humberside Police, said: “In regards to our investigation, while we have considered throughout the missing person inquiry that Libby may have come to some harm, Libby’s death and the recovery of her body now leads us to solely investigate as a potential homicide.”
Mr Smalley added: “Libby captured the hearts of not just the people in Hull, but across the country, and as I have said before, the support shown has been overwhelming and my sincerest thanks to absolutely everyone who has been involved.”
Miss Squire, who has been described as a popular student who studied philosophy at Hull University, vanished after going out with friends on January 31.
She was dropped off in a taxi near her home on Wellesley Avenue at 11.29pm, and was seen on a bench near Beverley Road around 10 minutes later.
She is believed to have remained in this area until around 12.09am the following day, February 1, but was not seen alive after that.
Her disappearance prompted a huge search effort, involving more than a hundred officers and a team of volunteers.
After her death was confirmed, a wave of tributes poured in for Miss Squire, originally from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, with a bench on Beverley Road becoming a focus for people to lay flowers at the spot just a few hundreds metres from her student home.
An inquest into the death will open at Hull Coroner’s Court at 1pm on Monday.
During the investigation into the disappearance, 24-year-old Pawel Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, was arrested on suspicion of abduction.
He has been remanded in custody, having appeared in court on unrelated charges of burglary, voyeurism, outraging public decency and receiving stolen goods.