Ellen Higginbottom murder: Preston man charged

Ellen Higginbottom Image copyright GMP
Image caption Ellen Higginbottom left a legacy of beauty, love and kindness say her family

A man has been charged with the murder of an 18-year-old student whose body was found at a beauty spot.

Ellen Higginbottom was found with multiple stab wounds at Orrell Water Park, Wigan early on Saturday.

She had been reported missing by her family at 19:20 BST on Friday after failing to return home from college.

Mark Steven Buckley, 51, of New Hall Lane, Preston has been remanded in custody and will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Three other people have been arrested in connection with her death.

Image copyright Ian Greig/Geograph
Image caption She was last seen on Friday at Orrell Water Park, according to friends

A 47-year-old Wigan man is being held on suspicion of murder and a man and a woman, both 30 and from Wigan, are being questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Friends said Ellen was last seen at the water park. Police found her body at about 02:30 BST on Saturday during a search.

'Exquisite evil'

Her family have released a tribute to her telling people not to label her killers as "animals".

They stated: "Ellen loved animals and the psychology student in her would tell you it takes the complexity of a human mind to conjure such exquisite evil.

"People have also called for them to be strung up but we've thrown enough stones in rivers while camping for her to tell you that ripples reach the shore.

Image copyright Ellen Higginbottom/Facebook
Image caption Ellen Higginbottom was reported missing by her family after failing to return home from college

"Innocent people love, or at least loved, these monsters too, and I promise you, she'd also tell you that nobody deserves the pain we feel right now. What's the world coming to?

"Well, if a legacy is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see, then thanks to people like our remarkable Ellen it's coming to beauty and love and kindness."

Her boyfriend Ryan Warren said in a tribute on Facebook she was his "rock" who he and his family "will miss dearly but will hold forever in our hearts".

"Her bubbly, happy, flamboyant personality and witty humour made her precious to so many," he said.

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