Murdered teenager 'leaves huge gap'

Sasha Marsden was repeatedly stabbed in a frenzied attack before her body was set alight (Lancashire Police/PA)

Sasha Marsden was repeatedly stabbed in a frenzied attack before her body was set alight (Lancashire Police/PA)

First published in National News © by

The family of a 16-year-old girl murdered in a frenzied stabbing say her loss "has left a huge gap in all our lives".

Sasha Marsden was found in a rear alley behind a bed and breakfast hotel in Blackpool, Lancashire, on Thursday night.

She had been repeatedly stabbed to the head and face before attempts were made to set her body on fire.

Detectives are continuing to question a 22-year-old local man on suspicion of her murder.

In a statement, Sasha's parents Gary, 40, and Jayne, 45, from Staining, Blackpool, said: "No words can express how we feel. Our beautiful daughter has been taken from us. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, great granddaughter, auntie, niece, cousin and girlfriend. She was very much loved and her loss has left a huge gap in all our lives, a gap that can never be filled.

"Sasha was your typical teenager, a fun-loving girl who enjoyed spending time with her friends and boyfriend, with her parents being last on the list unless she wanted something or needed a lift somewhere. We would ask that we be left alone in private to allow us to come to terms with losing our beautiful precious daughter."

Other heartfelt tributes were paid to the Blackpool and The Fylde College childcare student by her siblings. Her brother, Mark Brett, 24, said: "She was my little sister and I was so proud of her going to college to do her childcare course. She will be missed by all her family and friends."

Sister Katie Brett, 21, said: "She is a gorgeous little lady and knows how to make an impression and when you meet her, you would never forget her. She was an expert wind-up merchant and although you might be annoyed with her, you couldn't stay mad with her for long." Another sister, Gemma Aitchison, 26, said: "Cheeky, friendly and stubborn are all things that make Sasha as special as she is and make her overcome anything. She is a beautiful sister and a wonderful and caring aunty too."

Brother Thomas Nicholl, 21, said: "Sasha was an adorable little sister and was never afraid to put her opinions across no matter what the situation was. She always knew how to make us smile, especially after winding us up. She gave the most amazing cuddles and we will miss her so much."

Passers-by were reported to have thought the body was a shop dummy that was burning in Kirby Road in the resort's South Shore area. The murder suspect and a 20-year-old woman were arrested close to the scene of the brutal attack and shortly after the discovery was made. The woman was later released without charge.

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