Phoenix Netts, the 28-year-old woman whose body was found in two suitcases in the Forest of Dean, was originally from Croydon.
Her body was discovered near a quarry last Tuesday, May 12, after police stopped two people on the A4136 between Monmouth and Coleford in Gloucestershire.
Yesterday, two people were charged in connection with the murder. They are due to face trial in November.
Netts had been brought up in Croydon, and until the age of 11, in 2002, had been a pupil at Parish Church Junior School, according to sources who knew her at that time.
Detectives used DNA analysis to confirm the victim’s identity.
A statement released on behalf of Netts’ family said: “As a family we are devastated with what has happened to Phoenix.
“We ask most humbly that our family’s privacy is respected whilst we grieve and come to terms with the loss of Phoenix in such tragic circumstances. Whilst we understand this is a news story, we hope everyone can understand why we need to be left alone at this very difficult time.
“We have family and good friends supporting us and our thanks go out to all of them. We would also like to thank all the police officers involved in the investigation for their hard work and sensitivity.”
Yesterday at Bristol Crown Court, Gareeca Conita Gordon, 27, from Salisbury Road, Birmingham, was charged with the murder of a woman on or before May 12, 2020. Mahesh Sorathiya, 38, from Denmore Gardens, Wolverhampton, was charged with assisting an offender on or before May 12. Sorathiya has been granted conditional bail; no application for bail was made on behalf of Gordon, who has been remanded in custody.
A provisional trial date has been set for November 10.
“The background to this case are allegations of the most appalling type,” Mr Justice Garnham, the judge, said.
Addressing Sorathiya’s bail application, the judge said, “However, this applicant’s alleged involvement in these appalling alleged events relates to his transporting of the defendant Gordon to the place where she was stopped and they were arrested.
“There is no suggestion that he was involved in the alleged offence of murder itself.”
- This piece of local news reporting was brought to you without a penny of subsidy from the BBC or any local councils. If you want to support independent local journalism in Croydon, please sign up today as a supporter. For just £4 per month, you qualify for special discounts and offers. Click here for more details
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and BBC London News
- Inside Croydon named Journalist of the Year at 2018 Anna Kennedy Online Autism Heroes Awards
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: For three consecutive years, 2017, 2018 and 2019, Inside Croydon has been the source for award-winning nominations in Private Eye magazine’s annual celebration of civic cock-ups
- Inside Croydon had 1.6million pages viewed by 721,000 unique visitors in 2019