5:00pm Wednesday 6th March 2013
FRIENDS and teachers at the Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre have paid tribute to a “gentle and modest” teenager found dead after going missing from his Frogham home.
Ross Haughey, 17, went missing on February 24 after telling his parents Brian and Penelope he was going for a walk. His body was found near Linwood last Wednesday.
Among those taking part in the huge search launched after his disappearance were fellow students from the Burgate School.
Headteacher David Pover said the school community had been “devastated” at the news of Ross’ death and despite the tremendous sense of hope in finding him, they now had to come to terms with the news.
Mr Pover said: “Ross was a lovely young man who had already demonstrated exceptional academic success. He enjoyed running and walking in the New Forest. He will be remembered as a gentle, modest student and our thoughts are with his family.”
Louise Burns, head of sixth form added, “We'll miss seeing Ross's lovely brown eyes and shy smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Friend Nick Hammond-Smith, 16, said: “You couldn't find a nicer person than Ross. He was a good friend.
“He was a quiet, private character who was totally dedicated to his studies. Yet despite his great academic success, Ross was modest about it. All of us had the greatest of respect for him. I have lost a great friend.”
Sam Rogers, 16, added: “Ross and I were good friends but undoubtedly my fondest memories will be running with him in competitions. We encouraged each other on to bigger and better things.
“He will be greatly missed.”
In a statement, Ross’ parents said: “The tragic news of our much-loved son Ross has devastated our family, relatives and friends. This has been the hardest thing that we have ever had to cope with.
“Ross was quiet, intelligent and had achieved excellent GCSE exam results which he was very proud of. He was doing well in his A-level studies.
“We were overwhelmed by all the offers of help to search for Ross. We cannot thank everyone enough and would like to send our special thanks to relatives, friends and neighbours, the police and voluntary search crews as well as the school that took part in the search. We miss Ross desperately.”
Ross’ death is not being treated as suspicious.
A funeral will be held at 3.30pm next Thursday, March 14 at Hyde Church.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Stars Appeal, raising money for children at Salisbury District Hospital, through John Shering funeral directors in Fordingbridge.
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