By Laura Hughes
Published: JMU Journalism 28/11/16
Tributes have poured in for Wirral mum, Anita Stevenson, whose body was found over the weekend after she had been reported as missing.
The 39-year-old, who police had been appealing to find for more than a month, was discovered in Bromborough Woodland, bordering Poole Lane and Old Court House Lane.
On Saturday afternoon, the official Facebook page for the Help Find Anita Stevenson campaign made the announcement as they hailed her as “an amazing woman”.
A statement on the page reads: “We as a family would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the great amount of support we received from you all, from well wishes, sharing posts, tips that came in, to actually going out looking for her. We cannot thank you all enough for sharing the love for my sister, she was an amazing woman and loved by so many. You all showed how many people’s hearts she touched, so from us all. Thank you.”
Anita’s son, Jake Stevenson, a Liverpool Hope University student, posted his own tribute, saying: “I am the man I am today because of this beautiful woman. She provided for me for years, without hesitation, what was best for me.
“For that unconditional love I can’t fault her. It’s soul destroying to think I can’t give her one last hug and say goodbye. She loved all of our family and close friends with all of her heart and always thought the best of everybody.”
People left their own messages of sympathy, as June Pickup commented: “Heartbreaking, no family should have to go through this. My thoughts are with the family.”
Rachael Claire Woodburn said: “Can’t imagine as to what the family are going through, R.I.P Anita.”
Julie Williams said: “Deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved Anita . So sorry to hear this sad news.”
The statement was shared thousands of times in a matter of hours, with hundreds of commenters paying their respects and expressing their shock at the tragic news.
Throughout the time she was missing, the Facebook page posted regular updates on their appeal, where over 5,000 members helped to share the message.
A GoFundMe page has been set up and has so far raised £1,000 to buy Christmas presents for Anita’s two children, including her three-year-old daughter.
The appeal was set up by Paula Marie, who said: “She has two beautiful children who will now be forced to face life without her.
“It’s not long until Christmas and I thought we could try raise some money to help provide them with Christmas presents and anything else the family need.”
During the time the mum-of-two was missing, her family and friends campaigned tirelessly in a bid to locate her. Around 30 of her friends travelled from her hometown Bradford to Wirral to hand out flyers and appeal for information.
Police released CCTV footage of Ms Stevenson near Albany Road in Rock Ferry on October 18 as part of the appeal to find her.
Merseyside Police has confirmed that a post mortem to confirm the cause of death is being carried out.
A 41-year-old man from Birkenhead was previously arrested on suspicion of murder and later released on bail.