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Heather Cooper death: Family 'devastated'

Heather Cooper
Image caption Heather Cooper was described as a devoted mother to her children

The family of a Surrey police officer who died from a blow to the head and a stab wound to the throat said they were "devastated" by her death.

The body of Det Con Heather Cooper, 33, was found in Blackdown Woods near Lurgashall, West Sussex, on Sunday.

Her family said she was a "much loved daughter, sister and granddaughter".

Former police detective Peter Foster, 35, is accused of murdering Ms Cooper, who was his partner, at their home in West Street, Haslemere, Surrey.

In a statement, Ms Cooper's family said: "We are devastated by the loss of Heather in such tragic circumstances.

"She was a much loved daughter, sister and granddaughter as well as a devoted mother to her children.

"Heather was popular amongst everyone she knew and we have been touched by all the flowers and tributes we have received from her friends and her colleagues."

'Exceptional officer'

It continued: "She was extremely proud to serve as a police officer, often going above and beyond in her duty, and her dedication and professionalism was recognised and commended.

"She loved life and she lived it to the full."

Image caption The body was found in Blackdown Woods, near Lurgashall, in West Sussex

Surrey and Sussex Assistant Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said Ms Cooper had been an "exceptional officer and much loved among her police colleagues".

Surrey Police said Ms Cooper, who was originally from York, had been on maternity leave at the time of her death.

Mr Foster was remanded in custody at Worthing Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

He will next appear at Lewes Crown Court on Friday for a preliminary hearing.

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