A young South Shields travel agency apprentice and her boyfriend have been confirmed as victims of Monday’s Manchester Arena terror attack.
Westoe Travel’s owner, Graeme Brett, and his team had been appealing for information on the whereabouts of Chloe Rutherford, 17 and her boyfriend Liam Curry, 19 after they were reported missing following the Ariana Grande concert.
This morning, Brett confirmed on his Facebook page that Chloe and Liam had died following the attack.
He wrote in a statement (which he has given TTG permission to publish): “We have now had the devastating news that Chloe and her boyfriend Liam have been taken from us at such a young age.
“It is something we will never be able to understand. When you watch these events on television you never expect them to impact on those around you.
“As a small family business, Chloe was part of our family, working part-time as she completed her College studies before [being due to start] starting full time with us on June 26 to begin her Travel Apprenticeship.
“We loved her friendly, happy personality and she was a great asset to Westoe Travel. She had a great future ahead in the travel industry, which she was really looking forward to.”
Brett said Liam would meet Chloe from work, and that they were “a perfect loving couple”.
“The families have lost two beautiful young people who were a credit to them and our thoughts and prayers go to both families at this terrible time,” he continued.
The pair were from South Shields in South Tyneside.
In a joint statement via Greater Manchester Police in the early hours of Thursday, their loved ones confirmed their passing.
It read: “On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not.
“They were perfect in every way for each other and were meant to be.
“They were beautiful inside and out to ourselves and our families, and they were inseparable.
“Chloe always described herself as ditzy who Liam adored and would do anything for, including dealing with Chloe’s demands for chocolate.
“They lived to go to new places together and explore different cities. They wanted to be together forever - and now they are.”