“SHE brought joy to all her family and friends with her fun-loving sense of humour and kind-hearted caring nature.”

That was the emotional tribute paid to former Bicester schoolgirl Denise Skilbeck who was found dead last week.

A murder inquiry has now been launched.

Her parents Ingrid and John Skilbeck, from Bicester, last night paid tribute to their “lovely girl”.

The 31-year-old was found dead at a house in the Wharf area of Newark, Nottinghamshire, on March 16.

A post mortem examination showed Miss Skilbeck, who grew up in Bicester, died of a head injury.

The former Brookside Primary School and Cooper School pupil left the town in 2004 to pursue a career in support work, helping disadvantaged people get jobs.

Her parents said they were distraught at the loss.

They said: “Our whole family is totally devastated after receiving the tragic news of the loss of Denise’s life.

“She was a lovely girl with a bright and prosperous future and we feel it’s such a waste that she was taken ahead of her time.

“She brought joy to all her family and friends with her fun- loving sense of humour and kind-hearted caring nature.

“Our family would like to thank everyone for all their offers of support and kind comments at this time.

“We are so totally distraught and respectfully request we are left in peace to grieve.”

Gary Spalding, 34, from Dobson’s Quay, The Wharf, Newark, has been charged with Miss Skilbeck’s murder.

Spalding was remanded in custody by Nottingham Crown Court on March 22.

He is due to appear at the same court on Monday, April 4, for a preliminary hearing.