Farewell to beloved Sarah
For the family and friends of Sarah Shields, the time has come to say goodbye – with a touch of pink.
The 23-year-old will finally be laid to rest on Monday, three months after her body was discovered off the southern coast of Gran Canaria on July 7.
For her parents Angela and David Shields, her sister Linda Stephenson and her two brothers Paul Davis and Mark Shields, the wait has been unbearable.
News of the funeral details comes as The Evening Star today published never-before-seen pictures of Sarah.
When Sarah failed to return home from her holiday with boyfriend Christopher Chittock on July 11, her family raised the alarm, reporting her missing to police.
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Days later Chittock, 36, of Alnesbourn Crescent in Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of her murder and perverting the course of justice.
Legal proceedings involving Chittock’s extradition to Spain delayed the repatriation of Sarah’s body to the UK until two weeks ago.
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On Monday Sarah’s family will welcome her friends to join them in celebrating her life.
The service will take place at 2pm at St Augustine’s Church in Bucklesham Road
followed by a private burial and wake.
Mrs Stephenson said for the family, arranging the funeral, has brought home the reality they face, a future without their beloved daughter and sister.
“Before we were just going through the motions,” she said. “It has been a long hard fight to bring her home.
“We want to celebrate Sarah’s life and as a family it is so important we have somewhere to visit and be with Sarah.”
She said people attending to pay their respects are welcome to wear a “touch of pink,” Sarah’s favourite colour.
Chittock is currently remanded in custody in Spain awaiting further legal proceedings. He could face up to a two-year wait before a trial if murder charges are to follow.
The couple, who moved in together in April, had been staying at the Balito Beach Apartments on the south coast of the Spanish island.
Chittock faced a judge in Spain on August 17, a day after he arrived in Spain, where he was told he is a formal suspect in Sarah’s murder.