Church opens its doors to community for prayer after body of Libby Squire is found

(Photo: Facebook/Hull Community Church)

Hull Community Church has opened its doors to members of the community grieving the loss of Libby Squire after the missing student's body was found in the Humber estuary. 

Members of the community have been invited in to light a candle and write down their reflections in a book of condolence after police confirmed that the body found on Wednesday afternoon was that of the 21-year-old University of Hull student.

She was last seen in the early hours of February 1 on Beverley Road near the junction with Haworth Street after coming home early from a night out with friends.

Police have confirmed that they are treating her death as a 'potential homicide' and are no longer pursuing other causes.  

In a statement, Detective Superintendent Martin Smalley said: "Our thoughts remain today with Libby's family and friends at this incredibly sad and devastating time for them.

"The loss of a loved one is always an upsetting and traumatic experience to go through, but the circumstances surrounding Libby's death will only intensify the heartache for her family." 

He continued: "In regards to our investigation, while we have considered throughout the missing person inquiry that Libby may have come to some harm, Libby's death and the recovery of her body now leads us to solely investigate as a potential homicide.

"The post-mortem examination concluded late last night and at this stage, we will not be releasing any results for investigative and operational reasons.

"We have to protect the integrity of the investigation, which is live and very much active and ongoing, with one man who remains under investigation." 

An inquest into Libby's death will open at Hull Coroner's Court at 1pm on Monday.

Hull Community Church held a minute's silence in memory of Libby on Friday and changed its Facebook profile and cover photos to her name alongside the poignant words 'You.Are.One.Of.Us'.

The church said it had laid flowers at the bench where she was last seen "only to find that others have come too to pour out their grief and send messages of love". 

"We are devastated at the news of Libby Squire. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this horrendous time," it said.

"We have taken Libby to our hearts, and she will never be forgotten by us here in Hull.

"We stand with love and support for her mum, dad, sisters and brother, and for her friends both here in Hull and back home."

During service on Sunday, the church will be saying prayers for Libby and her family. 

It also posted a special prayer to its Facebook page: 

Dear God,

Hear our prayer after this terrible news about Libby.
Come alongside us, and bring comfort in the agony and the grief.

We join together today in our hope for a better world and our despair for the loss of this young life.

At this difficult time, we reach out to you and to one another to weave a shelter of peace and a tapestry of love.
May we find comfort in each others presence as we pray for Libby.

May the bonds of love and concern that we build today reach out to her.
Father God, be close by to comfort all those who are suffering.
Be a healing presence in our lives, and especially for Libby's family and friends.

Give us the grace to live each day ahead with courage and hope, caring for one another and standing strong in our love and support.