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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 16:37 GMT
Mother's grief over Sally's death
Sue Geeson
Sue Geeson said her daughter Sally was a 'joy to be with'
The mother of murder victim Sally Geeson has paid tribute to her "lovely and funny" daughter.

Sue Geeson, of Southend, Essex, praised the support she has had since the 22-year-old student went missing.

Miss Geeson's body was found on Friday in woodland in the American Military Cemetery in Madingley, near Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Strathclyde Police confirmed a man who died after jumping from a hotel was David Atkinson - the prime suspect in the murder inquiry.

Mr Atkinson, a 31-year-old soldier who served with the Royal Engineers and was based at Waterbeach near Cambridge, became of interest to detectives on Wednesday.

Sally Geeson's disappearance
Sally Geeson
1 Jan: Sally Geeson last seen leaving a New Year's Eve party in Cambridge
3 Jan: Cambs Police make appeal for information
7 Jan: A body is found at Madingley, near Cambridge
8 Jan: The body is identified as Miss Geeson
9 Jan: Police say that a man found dead in Scotland was a suspect in the case
10 Jan: Police carry out forensic tests on the man

He set himself alight and jumped from the sixth floor of the Corus hotel in Glasgow on Saturday.

Army officials contacted police to alert them that he was missing and provided information which led them to believe he could have been responsible for Miss Geeson's disappearance.

Police were told L/Cpl Atkinson had been cleared in 1998 of kidnap and assault charges relating to a Polish woman, while serving in Germany.

The Royal Military Police contacted Cambridgeshire Police on 5 January after L/Cpl Atkinson failed to report for duty the day before.

Sally Geeson was last seen alive three miles away in Cambridge where she had been enjoying a New Year's Eve party.

Her mother Mrs Geeson said: "It is tragic. It is so awful. We can't believe it's happened.

"It is just so difficult. You can't put it into words. I am not sure where we go from here. It is just day by day.

"She was just absolutely full of life, she was lovely - a breath of fresh air and a joy to be round.

"The support has been tremendous. The Travelodge where Sally worked said they always knew when she was on duty because there was always laughter.

"Everyone says the same sort of thing. She was lovely and fun to be with."

Miss Geeson, from Southend, a forensic science student, was due to start her final exams at Anglia Polytechnic University this week.

Anglia Polytechnic University said on Monday it was "very likely" that Miss Geeson would be given a posthumous degree.

A spokesman said she had completed much of her course and was guaranteed a good grade.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Sue Geeson pays tribute to her daughter



SEE ALSO:
Jump death man was murder suspect
10 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Sally suspect 'discovered dead'
09 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Body identified as missing Sally
08 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
'Kidnap' fears over missing Sally
07 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Taxi driver retracts Sally story
06 Jan 05 |  Cambridgeshire


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