Tributes Pour In For Hannah Witheridge

16 September 2014, 11:47

The family of Hannah Witheridge from Great Yarmouth, who was murdered in Thailand, have paid tribute to her, describing her as "a beautiful, intelligent and loving young woman".

The 23 year old was discovered semi-naked on a beach in the divers' paradise of Koh Tao on Monday, along with 24 year old David Miller from Jersey.

A bloodstained hoe, believed to be the murder weapon, was found nearby.

Police have released still images from CCTV cameras in the area, one of which shows what police said were the two victims walking together hand-in-hand.

Her family have released the following statement:

"Hannah was a beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman who poured joy into the lives of all who knew her. She was selfless and caring and made each and every day that little bit more wonderful. Our family are utterly devastated and shocked by what has happened to our beautiful Hannah. To lose her in the way that we have is beyond comprehension. We are heartbroken and no words can possibly describe how we feel. As such, we would be extremely grateful to be left in peace while we come to terms with our loss.”

Since authorities named Miss Witheridge last night, tributes have been pouring in. She completed a three year BA in Education in 2012 at the UEA. 

It has released the following statement:

The University of East Anglia was extremely saddened to learn of the death of former student Hannah Witheridge.

Dr Paola Iannone, Hannah's course director, said: "Hannah completed a three year BA in Education in 2012 and excelled in her studies. She was a very dedicated and highly motivated student.

"For her dissertation she carried out a study on the importance of outdoor learning in the early years and this was one of the best in the year.

"Outside the University Hannah was a very keen equestrian and enjoyed being out and about with her friends. She was an exceptional young woman, much loved both by her fellow students and by her tutors. She was very supportive of her friends and in turn she created very close knit friendships with her peers."

The university flag will be lowered in Hannah's memory on 17 September.

Britons living on the Thai island have been posting on a special tribute site to Hannah.

One said: "As a UK citizen and a resident of Koh Tao I am deeply saddened by the recent events."

Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "This should not have happened in Thailand. It will affect our image in the eyes of international countries."

Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan said police hoped "to make an arrest as soon as possible."

According to her Facebook page, Ms Witheridge had a keen interest in horses and lived in Colchester, Essex.