Two 15-year-old boys suspected of murdering a schoolgirl are being questioned by police.
Rebecca Aylward’s body was found in woodland in the village of Aberkenfig, south Wales. A post-mortem examination found she died of head injuries, reportedly caused by a brick.
In a statement, her family said they had been “shattered” by her death.
They said: “Rebecca, also known as Becca, was dearly loved by all her family. She was loved by everyone including all her aunts, uncles and cousins. She will be sadly missed, she was a very happy young girl, she had an outgoing and bubbly personality.”
The 15-year-old was last seen at about 12.30pm on Saturday in Sarn Hill, Sarn, when she was dropped off to visit a friend.
Her mother reported her missing that evening when she failed to return home to Maesteg. She was found dead in the patch of woodland on the outskirts of the village about 9am on Sunday.
Detectives at South Wales Police were granted another 36 hours on Monday night to question the two local boys who were arrested on suspicion of murder.
Rebecca’s younger siblings had been left distraught by her death, her family said. Their statement continued: “She was very motherly towards her younger brother and sister who absolutely adored her – they have been left devastated by her death.
“All the family have been shattered by her death. As a family we are all devastated by her untimely death and wish to be left alone to deal with our grief in private. Becca can never ever be replaced.”
Officers spent Monday searching the wooded area where Rebecca was found, said to be a popular gathering spot for youngsters.