'Ecstasy' death girl Sophie Balmer was 'free spirit'

Sophie Balmer
Image caption Sophie Balmer's family described her as a "free spirit"

A teenage girl who died after she is believed to have taken ecstasy was a "free spirit" who was "cruelly taken", her family has said.

Sophie Leigh Balmer, 18, from Walton, Merseyside, died in hospital in the early hours of Sunday.

Police believe she had taken a green-coloured ecstasy tablet known as Rockstar shortly before her death.

Two men, 18 and 19, have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

Both have been bailed.

Family 'devastated'

The results of a post-mortem examination on Miss Balmer have been withheld pending the outcome of toxicology tests.

Merseyside Police warned people not to take the pill as a "precautionary measure" following her death.

The Rockstar tablet sparked a series of police warnings in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in March after seven people were taken to hospital and one died. They had apparently taken the tablets, which were being sold as ecstasy.

The Scottish pills were described as yellow or red and were also said to have carried a star logo.

Officers from Strathclyde Police said at the time that while the exact contents were unknown, they could contain a cocktail of different substances.

In a statement her family said: "Sophie Leigh was a beautiful, talented girl - a free spirit.

"The whole family are devastated that our baby's life can be so cruelly taken away."

'Biggest heart ever'

Tributes have also been paid to the teenager by friends and relatives on Facebook and Twitter.

William Burgess wrote on Twitter that Ms Balmer "was the best cousin in the world".

"You have left the biggest hole in our family, such a big personality. Can't believe ur gone."

Nicola McKeever wrote on Facebook that she "had the biggest heart ever".

Lily Francesca Harrison also wrote: "Sophie, you were a beautiful, talented and wonderful young girl.

"Your smile could light up the world, and now you'll be doing the same when you're looking down on us as the brightest star in the sky. R.I.P. I'm going to miss you."

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