Family tribute to murdered schoolgirl: ‘Paige left a big hole in our hearts’

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The family of Paige Chivers have today told of the devastating impact her murder has had on their lives.

Robert Ewing, 60, killed 15-year-old Paige in August 2007.

Paige Chivers was murdered in 2007.

Paige Chivers was murdered in 2007.

A jury at Preston Crown Court found him guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice after he lied to police.

Gareth Dewhurst, 46, was convicted of helping dispose of her body and perverting the course of justice.

A statement issued on behalf of the family said: “Every birthday is a reminder that Paige is no longer with us to open her cards, presents or to just celebrate with us.

“Paige should be at home with her loved ones around her, being an auntie to all her nieces and nephews and enjoying life.

Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

“She should now be making a family of her own and had her life ahead of her.

“We all have big holes in our hearts that can never be replaced.”

Read the statement in full below.

Read how The Gazette covered the murder trial:

Paige Chivers as a young girl

Paige Chivers as a young girl

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UPDATED: Paige Chivers murder trial underway

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Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

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Murdered: Paige Chivers

Murdered: Paige Chivers

The family statement in full:

“I say these words after speaking with my family and hope that what I have to say captures their thoughts and feelings as well as mine.

“Paige was a fun loving kid, she was bright and funny. She was only a child when our mum passed away in 2007. It was so hard on us all at the time and I would go as far as to say it broke us. It was hard to come to terms with her death and I think it hit Paige hard due to her age. She would put on a brave face, but looking into her eyes you could see she missed her so much, she was just lost.

“That year we heard that Paige had gone missing, we thought that she was just out with her mates, never would we think that she would become a missing person.

“Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years with no sign of Paige. We were clinging onto hope that she was still out there somewhere.

“We did an appeal on the television to let her know that she was not in trouble and that we loved her so very much. We all wanted her to come home and be an auntie to her nephew which she loved so much. Paige was already an auntie to Georgina, “Pudding” as she called her. Paige adored her; she took her out, loved playing and spending time with her. Paige would have made a brilliant mum.

“We used to go out in the car looking for Paige and sometimes do a “double take” when we saw some girls and anyone similar to her. We would drive around the block and check again, raising our hopes only to be let down again, you never stop looking.

“Every birthday is a reminder that Paige is no longer with us to open her cards, presents or to just celebrate with us. Paige had her full life ahead of her, she was so intelligent and I’m sure she would have gone on to study hair and beauty as she was always changing her hair styles and helping me with my hair and make-up. Nearly eight years on and not a day goes by that we don’t think of her, it shouldn’t have happened to my sister, not my bonny, outgoing sister, it should not have happened. Paige was just lost in everything written in the papers and news. You never think that something like this would ever happen to your own family. After all that we have been through it scares me, I’m scared for my own children because my own sister was taken from us. We would like to see the world as a safe place to bring up our own kids. I’m conscious now with my own kids when allowing them to play out and want to know at all times where they are. Even if they run off too fast I’m calling them back. I’m also wary when other people are around my kids who I don’t know because of what has happened with Paige.

“I’m concerned that I will never know what her last words were, if she was in any pain or even if I will find out what actually went on the days she went missing. I hope and pray that the people responsible tell us where she is so we can lay her to rest. This will at least give us some closure and maybe stop any nightmares, images and worry about where she is.

“Paige should be at home with her loved ones around her, being an auntie to all her nieces and nephews and enjoying life. She should now be making a family of her own and had her life ahead of her. We all have big holes in our hearts that can never be replaced.

“I would now appeal on behalf of all the family that we are left alone to come to try to come to terms with everything we have been through.”