Forensic investigations into the death of university student Libby Squire are ongoing after her body was found seven weeks after she went missing, an inquest into her death has heard.
The inquest into the 21-year-old’s death was opened and adjourned by coroner Professor Paul Marks at Hull Coroner’s Court on Monday afternoon.
Police told the hearing that the inquiry into her death has been declared as a “homicide” probe and that a man remains under investigation after being arrested on suspicion of abduction last month.
Miss Squire was found dead in the Humber Estuary on Wednesday afternoon. She had been missing since the early hours of Friday February 1 following an evening out in Hull, and her disappearance sparked an intensive search.
Prof Marks told the inquest that she “sadly” was pronounced dead “on March 20 near Spurn Head, at the mouth of the River Humber, in the East Riding of Yorkshire”.
A statement was read to the inquest by Catherine Land, an identification expert with West Yorkshire Police, which confirmed Miss Squire had been identified by her fingerprints.
Detective Superintendent Martin Smalley, of Humberside Police, said investigations were ongoing. He said: “Post-mortem forensic investigations are still ongoing.
“It’s now been declared a homicide investigation.”
Mr Smalley said Miss Squire was refused entry to the Welly nightclub on January 31 and was last seen at around midnight near Haworth Street and Beverley Road, with no sightings after that time.
He said Pawel Relowicz was arrested on February 6 “in relation to her kidnap” and remains under investigation.
The detective added that Relowicz, 24, has been charged with a variety of other offences, including burglaries, voyeurism and outraging public decency.
Mr Smalley previously said a post-mortem examination had taken place, but officers would not be releasing any results “for investigative and operational reasons”.
Prof Marks said police are not yet in a position to release Miss Squire’s body to her family due to the ongoing investigations.
He offered his condolences as he adjourned the inquest to a later date.
He said: “It’s my intention to adjourn the inquest pending further investigation to a date to be set down.
“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to members of Libby’s family for their sad loss.”
On Saturday, Miss Squire’s mother described her family’s heartache at the loss of her “darling” daughter.
In an emotional tribute, Lisa Squire affectionately referred to her daughter as “Pie” and said she had lost “one of the four most precious things in my life”.
Writing on Facebook, she said: “I cannot thank you enough my darling Pie for making me a mummy.
“For choosing me to be your mummy. It’s an honour, a privilege and a joy.
“I kept you safe for as long as I could and I am so sorry I could not keep you safe on that night. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.”
Relowicz, 24, of Raglan Street, Hull, has been remanded in custody charged with 12 offences unrelated to the investigation into Miss Squire’s disappearance.
He is due to go on trial in Sheffield in July.
Miss Squire’s parents and siblings joined around 1,000 students and staff at the University of Hull on Monday evening to pay their respects to the philosophy student.
Packed into a square outside the university library, the crowd joined together in a minute’s silence before forming a procession past a remembrance tree, where some mourners laid flowers.
Professor Susan Lea, vice-chancellor of the university, said they were “absolutely devastated” by the death of Miss Squire.
Prof Lea said: “Libby was one of our students. She was part of our community. Libby was one of us.
“Here in Hull, we are close-knit. We try to look out for each other, we genuinely care, that’s what defines our university and our city.”
Osaro Otobo, the union president, added: “At this incredibly sad time, what struck me is how we have united to support one another.
“I’ve been moved by the outpouring of support that has come from students who wanted to do anything they could to help.”
Ms Otobo said students were “united in their shock and sadness and their determination that Libby will always be remembered”.
Floral tributes also covered the bench on Beverley Road where Miss Squire was last seen.
Naomi Purchon, 22, and Gina Capell, 51, lit candles and left flowers and gifts.
Ms Capell said she had been to the bench every day since Miss Squire’s body was found and said she wanted a lasting memorial to be installed there.
Ms Purchon said Miss Squire’s death has brought everyone together in the city. She said: “It’s just a shame something like this had to happen.”