The family of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, a student from London found murdered in her flat in Perugia, Italy last week, have issued a statement about her death.
Meredith Kercher was an exchange student from south London
Words cannot even begin to describe how we feel right now, other than utterly devastated at the tragic loss of our daughter and sister Meredith.
Nothing can prepare you for the news we received on Friday evening and it has taken this long for us to feel able to express our thoughts.
'Mez', as she was fondly known to us and those who knew her, was someone very special - a 21-year-old student, who was into her studies, worked hard and enjoyed spending time socialising with her friends and family.
As anyone who had been lucky enough to have known her would testify, she was one of the most beautiful, intelligent, witty and caring people you could wish to meet.
Nothing was ever too much effort for her - a loving daughter and sister and a loyal friend.
Meredith went to Italy at the end of August, as part of her undergraduate degree course, and was excited at the prospect of spending the year studying there to improve her language skills, make new friends and immerse herself in the culture.
She was pursuing her dream and we can take some comfort in knowing that she has left us at what was a very happy time in her life.
A genuinely caring person, she would check in with one of us almost daily just to chat and see if we were OK.
She was looking forward to returning home this weekend for her mother's birthday, with her suitcase laden with chocolates.
We feel it is no exaggeration to say that Meredith touched the lives of everyone she met with her infectious, upbeat personality, smile and sense of humour.
The sheer volume of tributes that have poured in during the past few days bear testament to the special girl we will all remember.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all family, friends and colleagues whose beautiful flowers, kind words, generosity and support have been overwhelming and of great comfort.
We would also like to extend our thanks to the Italian and British authorities for their efforts and support.
In closing we would like to appeal to anyone who may feel they have any information, no matter how trivial it may seem, to contact their local police and to help us bring to justice the person who has destroyed so many lives.
We loved her then, we love her still and she is still very much a part of our family forever.