A devastated family have paid a touching tribute to an “intelligent and outgoing” 24-year-old woman found dead in a burn in Inverness.
As police continued their investigation into the “unexplained” death of environment advisor Charlotte Hornby, appealing for witnesses who saw her in her last moments, her parents and brother gave an emotional testimonial.
In a statement issued through Police Scotland, they said: “”Charlotte, daughter of Patricia and Harry Hornby and sister to Edward Hornby, was intelligent, outgoing and enjoyed a wide range of outdoor pursuits.
“She was ambitious, confident and made friends wherever she appeared.”
Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, before moving to Fortrose with her parents in 1992, Charlotte was educated at Avoch Primary School, Fortrose Academy and subsequently graduated from St Andrews University with a MA in Geography in 2011.”
The family statement added: “Her sporting interests ranged through hill-walking (she ascended her first Munro - Slioch aged just 3!) cycling, skiing, climbing, running, kayaking, horse-riding and latterly squash.
“Her thirst for adventure knew few bounds extending to the James Bond Black Ski Run in Switzerland.
“Her love of music extended to playing both the piano and guitar whilst attending popular music concerts and enjoying music wherever she was.
“She had a wide range of friends from Fortrose, St Andrews and Aberdeen where she lived whilst employed by SSE as an Environmental Advisor.
“Wherever she went her humour, sense of adventure and kindly nature built friendships that she actively maintained.
“Recently she was in the process of returning to the Highlands and was moving into a flat with her brother Edward. That exciting new stage in her life will not now be realised and her potential lost to everyone who knew and worked with her.
“In 24 years, Charlotte has lived life to the full filling every minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run.
“Her family can only be consoled in the knowledge she passed suddenly having achieved so much having left a smile on all our faces.”
Charlotte’s body was found at 5.20pm on Sunday following an extensive search in Inverness.
A police dog handler made the grim discovery in the islands area of Island Bank Road, Inverness.
As part of the ongoing appeal to establish her last known movements, Acting Chief Inspector Mark Czerniakiewicz said: “Charlotte was last seen at approximately 3.25am, when she parted company with a friend and was seen heading towards Cavell Gardens, near the war memorial.
“She was wearing a black leather jacket, black dress, black tights and carrying a tan coloured handbag.
“We would appeal to members of the public who were in the Ness Bank area and the Islands Bank Road area of Inverness at the time to please contact us on 101 with any information, no matter how insignificant they may consider it to be.”
The death is still being treated as unexplained and a report regarding the circumstances of the inquiry will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.