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Family's tribute to dead teenager

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Rebecca Aylward whose body was found in a wooded area just outside Aberkenfig, Bridgend

Rebecca Aylward whose body was found in a wooded area just outside Aberkenfig, Bridgend

Police close to the location where body of Rebecca Aylward was found just outside Aberkenfig, Bridgend

Police close to the location where body of Rebecca Aylward was found just outside Aberkenfig, Bridgend

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Rebecca Aylward whose body was found in a wooded area just outside Aberkenfig, Bridgend

The family of a 15-year-old schoolgirl found dead in woodland have described her as a "very happy young girl".

Two 15-year-old boys are being questioned on suspicion of murdering Rebecca Aylward, whose body was discovered near the village of Aberkenfig, south Wales, in an area said to be a popular gathering place for teenagers.

In a statement, her family said they had been "shattered" by her death.

They said: "Rebecca, also known as Becca, was dearly loved by all her family. She was loved by everyone including all her aunts, uncles and cousins.

"She will be sadly missed, she was a very happy young girl, she had an outgoing and bubbly personality."

Rebecca died of head injuries, a post-mortem examination showed.

The Year 11 pupil at Archbishop McGrath Catholic Comprehensive School in Tondu, Bridgend, had last been seen at about 12.30pm on Saturday in Sarn Hill, Sarn, when she was dropped off to visit a friend.

Her mother raised the alarm that evening when she failed to return home to Maesteg.

Officers searched a patch of woodland near a roadside for hours before Rebecca's body was found, at about 9am on Sunday. The two boys, who live locally, were later arrested on suspicion of murder.

Rebecca's younger siblings have been left distraught by her death, her family added.

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