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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

'Completely devastated': Parents of murdered Alice Gross ask for privacy to grieve

The teenager’s body was found yesterday, five weeks after she went missing.

Image: PA Images

THE PARENTS OF murdered teenager Alice Gross have spoken of their devastation at her death.

Alice’s body was discovered in the River Brent in west London yesterday, five weeks after she went missing.

Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross said the news had left them “completely devastated”.

“It is difficult to comprehend that our sweet and beautiful daughter was the victim of a terrible crime. Why anyone would want to hurt her is something that we are struggling to come to terms with.

“Alice was a loving and much loved daughter and sister, a quirky live spark of a girl, beautiful inside and out. She was a funny companion, a loyal friend, both passionate and compassionate, and so talented with a bright future ahead of her.

“She brought so much joy to our family and those who knew her.

“We still don’t know who is responsible for this crime and we ask that people continue to help the police by giving them information that could help bring the perpetrator to justice.”

‘Personal and Private Tragedy’

Hodgkiss and Gross thanked the search team and local community for their support since 14-year-old Alice went missing in late August.

This is a personal and private tragedy and one which we want to be allowed to deal with in that manner, rather than fearing any individual or group will use it to further any political agenda. This is a time for grieving and not a time for anger or recriminations.

“We trust that the press will behave responsibly and not publish any material that might jeopardise any future criminal proceedings.

“We now ask for our privacy to be respected to allow us time to grieve as a family.”

Alice was reported missing after failing to return home on 28 August. CCTV footage shows her walking along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal on that day at 4.26pm.

Police have made a fresh appeal for information on Arnis Zalkalns (41), who is a suspect in the investigation.

Brentside High, Alice’s school, released a statement extended their sympathy to her family.

Alice was an outstanding and talented student who will be sorely missed from our school community. This is a very sad day for our school and we are devastated by this tragic loss.

“We are doing everything we can to support each other and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead.”

The school appealed for privacy and asked anyone with relevant information to come forward.

Read: Murder inquiry launched after body found in search for missing teen Alice Gross

Read: Missing London teen: Police search canal as suspect’s violent past emerges

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Órla Ryan

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