THE family of drowned teenager Hayley Holmes paid tribute to their “one in a million” daughter.
The 17-year-old, from Birkenhead, is thought to have been swept away by currents off the Wirral coast.
In a statement, parents Mike and Lisa, and Hayley’s younger sister Keely, said: “Our lives will never be the same now our bright shining star is in heaven.
“Hayley was one-in-a-million, she brought joy and laughter to everyone that was lucky enough to have known her.”
Hayley’s fully-clothed body was discovered by a dog walker on New Brighton beach.
It is believed she had ventured to the coast with boyfriend Robbie Crofts, whom she had been dating for three weeks, after spending the day at the Mathew Street Festival.
Her family said they were comforted by the incredible level of support they had received. Hundreds flocked to the beach on Wednesday August 31 to release lanterns.
The family added: "We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of Hayley’s friends and work colleagues, for all the love and support we have received during this very difficult time. It was such a comfort to spend time with so many of her friends at New Brighton on Wednesday evening and listen to all the kind loving words people had to share. Our thoughts are also with Robbie’s family.”
Devastated teachers and school friends at Upton Hall School for Girls held a mass to remember her last week and opened a book of remembrance in Hayley’s name when term began this week.
Assistant headteacher Ann Spears said: “We just want to do what we can to ensure staff and pupils can grieve for Hayley. Her loss is something felt terribly by all.”
On Facebook, tributes have passed the 10,000 mark. One simply read: “You have touched the hearts of people near and far.”