23/06/2018 12:36 BST | Updated 25/06/2018 07:52 BST

Sophie Gradon's Family Break Silence On 'Love Island' Star's Death

'You were everything I wanted to be and more.'

The family of Sophie Gradon have spoken publicly for the first time since the ‘Love Island’ star died earlier this week

The 2016 contestant’s cousin posted an emotional tribute to Sophie, after it was confirmed she had died at the age of 32 on Wednesday. 

Sophie Gradon died earlier this week at the age of 32

Her family did not issue a statement at the time of her death, but Sophie’s cousin, Charlotte Martin, broke their silence on Instagram. 

Sharing a photo of the two of them as children, she wrote: “I love you so much. You will never know how much I idolised you and the ground you walked on. 

“Growing up I was always so immensely excited to see you and that never stopped. I’d copy your outfits growing up just to be an ounce as cool as you and talk about you nonstop.”

She continued: “You were everything I wanted to be and more, the most caring and hilarious person I knew. The beacon of any room you entered and I will remember your smile and laugh forever.

“My soapy soap suds.”

Sophie’s boyfriend, Aaron Armstrong, broke news of her death on Facebook, posting photos of the two of them together with the caption: “I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always.”

Her cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but police have said it is not being treated as suspicious. 

Many of Sophie’s fellow Islanders, including Katie Salmon, Olivia Buckland, Cara De La Hoyde and Malin Andersson have shared tributes online, as have ‘Love Island’ hosts Caroline Flack and Iain Stirling. 

Thursday’s episode of ‘Love Island’ was also dedicated to Sophie, with an on-screen tribute airing at the start of the show. 

Bosses also released a statement, which read: “The whole ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends.” 

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