The boyfriend of murdered teenager Ellen Higginbottom has penned a heartbreaking tribute to his “beautiful girl”.
The 18-year-old Wigan student was found dead in Orrell Water Park in the early hours of Saturday morning after she failed to return home from college on Friday evening.
A Home Office post-mortem found that Higginbottom had died from multiple stab wounds to the neck.
Preston man Mark Steven Buckley, 51, of New Hall Lane, has now been charged with her murder and will appear at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the teen’s boyfriend Ryan Warren wrote an emotional post on Facebook in memory of the “bubbly, happy, flamboyant” student.
“Ellen, the past two years of knowing you have been the best years of my life. I am so incredibly honoured to have been such a big part in your life,” he wrote.
“Thank you for everything you have and did for me, even the little things like coming to find me when I was studying or bringing sweets to help study, or even the countless hours we just spent cuddling thinking about what we will do in the future.
“I have made so many amazing memories with you that I will forever cherish and will remain in my heart.
The tribute continued: “You have been my rock when I needed someone to keep me down to earth, but also let me spread my wings when I needed to, a shoulder for me to cry on.
“You helped me so incredibly greatly through many tough times we both shared and my mental health issues.
“I honestly would not be the man I am now if it wasn’t for you. You were my nugget, my beautiful girl and I loved you.
“Everyone loved you, I’m so sorry that the world has taken you far to young when you had so much to give to everyone.”
Thanking police, friends and the local community for their support in the wake of the tragedy, Warren added: “Ellen, I loved you, we all loved you, sleep well and may we meet again.
“I am lost for words and lost without you, I miss you so much right now but I am humbled by the fact that I know you will be looking down on us all.
“Thank you for everything nugget, love from your chicken.”
The social media post has been liked 12,000 times and shared by more than 2,600 people since it was posted yesterday.
A woman named Marj Bassett replied: “In tears lad. Special words for the special girl who stole your heart & will always be in your life. May you & her family eventually find peace xx”
Another man added: “So sorry for your loss Ryan, I hope that in the future you are comforted somehow in the knowledge that you made her happy while you were together and you will remember the wonderful times you spent together. RIP Ellen.”