THE FAMILY of Alice Gross say they “find it almost impossible to understand” her “appalling” death as they attended the murdered schoolgirl’s funeral.
They spoke of their struggle to come to terms with having to say goodbye to the 14-year-old, whose body was found in the River Brent in west London last month.
In a statement released after a humanist funeral service yesterday celebrating Alice’s life, her family said: “We have been devastated by the appalling circumstances of Alice’s death. Alice was so spirited, so present, so vital and so full of promise. We find it almost impossible to understand what has happened and that we have to say goodbye to her.”
They said they wanted the funeral to “focus on the joy of Alice’s life and the joy of having known her”.
Dozens of bunches of mainly yellow flowers, candles and messages of tribute have been left around a clock tower in the centre of Hanwell, which has become a focus of the community’s grief. Locals lit small candles arranged to spell out “We love you Alice” and watered flowers ahead of the funeral.
A tribute and donation page has been set up in the talented musician’s memory with the charity, Youth Music.
Alice went missing on August 28, triggering Scotland Yard’s largest search operation since the aftermath of the July 7 terror attacks.
Search teams found her remains hidden on the bed of the River Brent in west London more than a month later.
The prime suspect, convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns, was found hanged in nearby Boston Manor Park on October 4, four weeks after he was reported missing.
Opinion: Page 13