Meredith Kercher profile

Meredith Kercher

The Kercher family say they may never know what really happened to 21-year-old exchange student Meredith in the Perugia flat she shared with Amanda Knox in 2007.

She had chosen the central Italian city over Milan and Rome because she believed it would be safer.

"She fought so hard to get out there," her father John has said.

"There were quite a few setbacks but she was determined to go and kept persisting and eventually got what she wanted."

Known as Mez to her friends, Meredith saw her time in Italy as a dream trip. Her parents said she was excited about learning the language, meeting new friends and immersing herself in a different culture.

But three months after leaving the University of Leeds to start her year-long exchange in Italy, she was found dead.

The European studies student was embarking on a modern history, political theories and history of cinema course and had moved into a flat she rented with Knox.

It was there that Italian police discovered her body; she had been stabbed to death.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito Knox and Sollecito were arrested in November 2007

Her flatmate and Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's then boyfriend, were convicted of the murder in 2009.

At the time, prosecutors said the pair had been involved in a sex game with Miss Kercher that had gone wrong.

They have since alleged that the murder resulted from a heated argument over cleanliness in the Perugia apartment.

Miss Kercher was found in her bedroom, partially covered by a duvet. Her throat had been cut and the bedroom door was locked but the window had been broken.

'Sociable and loving'

She was, according to an Italian she was said to have dated, a very different character to her American flatmate.

"The two were like chalk and cheese - totally opposite in character," 24-year-old Giacomo Silenzi has said.

"Meredith was calm, sweet and shy. Amanda was an extrovert and always showing off."

Described as sociable and loving by friends and family, Miss Kercher was often seen in photos smiling broadly.

She grew up in the suburb of Coulsdon, in the southern outer reaches of London.

Meredith Kercher's brother (right) and sister Stephanie at a press conference The Kercher family have said they want justice for their sister

Before heading north for university, she was educated at the £10,000-a-year private Old Palace School in nearby Croydon.

She was the youngest of four children, with older brothers John and Lyle and sister Stephanie.

The family have kept up a campaign to find out what happened in Perugia.

"It's very difficult being without my sister," Stephanie said on hearing the news that Knox and Sollecito's guilty verdicts had been reinstated.

"There's so many things that happen that I want to tell her about or want to call her about."

Rudy Guede Rudy Guede was convicted of murder in 2008

She says she hopes the latest ruling and the possible extradition of Knox and her former boyfriend means their ordeal is now coming to an end and they can begin to "remember Meredith".

Only one person remains in jail for her sister's murder.

Rudy Guede, from the Ivory Coast, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2008 but that verdict included a ruling that he did not commit the crime alone.

And for the Kercher family, there is still no closure.

"I think we are still on a journey for the truth and it may be the fact that we don't ever really know what happened that night, which is obviously something we'll have to come to terms with," Stephanie Kercher said.

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito have said both plan to appeal.

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