Sasha Marsden murder: Family pay tribute to teenager

Sasha Marsden
Image caption Sasha Marsden died as a result of stab wounds to her head and face

The family of a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in a Blackpool alleyway said her death has left a gap in their lives.

Sasha Marsden was found in the alley off Kirby Road, South Shore, on Thursday night.

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

A 22-year-old man arrested near the scene is being questioned on suspicion of her murder.

Lancashire Police have until midnight to charge or release the man.

A 20-year-old woman was also arrested but has since been released without charge.

'Precious daughter'

Sasha's parents Gary and Jayne Marsden, aged 40 and 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."

'Amazing cuddles'

Tributes to the Blackpool and The Fylde College childcare student have also been paid by her siblings.

Her 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."

Her brother Mark Brett, 24, said he was proud of her and she would be missed.

Gemma Aitchison, 26, said she was a "beautiful sister" and brother Thomas Nicholl, 21, added: "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."

Specialist crime scene investigators have carried out forensic searches in the alleyway and at the Grafton House bed-and-breakfast hotel on Kirby Road.

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