Neighbours pay tribute to murdered Derbyshire backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung
Neighbours have paid tribute to Derbyshire backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was stabbed to death at a hostel in Australia.
Twenty-one year-old Mia, from Wirksworth was at the Shelley’s Backpackers hostel in Home Hill, Queensland, when the incident took place at 11.15pm local time last night.
A 30-year-old British man is also in a critical condition after the attack, with police investigating possible terrorist links to the young woman’s death.
The landlord of the property which Mia and her mother, Rosie, lived at on Wirksworth’s Blind Lane said he had been shocked when he arrived at the property this morning to find TV news cameras waiting in the street.
He added: “I had no idea when I saw it on the news this morning that this was Rosie’s daughter - she was just a young girl when they moved here.
“She was a very pleasant girl and smiled a lot.”
John Horak, 70, said he would often see Mia walking her dog along the street.
“I really liked her,” he added. “It was a terrible shock to hear this news - I have two daughters and a son myself.
“I can recall when she was just coming up to GCSEs and being keen to go to college. She was very grown up for her age - very sensible and easy to talk to.
“She was just very open and communicative and polite. She seemed full of zest about the idea of going off to the next stage of her life.”
Another neighbour, Philip Hayes, remembered Mia as ‘naturally friendly and beautiful.’
He said: “She had lots of friends here - she would always make a point of stopping for a chat.
“It’s a bit unbelievable really - she was just a schoolgirl when I knew her.
“The thing you noticed was her natural smile.”
Also known as Mimi, Mia had been in Australia for around a year and was posting regular updates from her travels, and was described by a friend at the hostel where she was killed as ‘bubbly’.
In the days leading up to the attack she posted on Facebook: “Day one, done! Only 87 left to do. Today we were in sugar canes. Feeling like a little Jamaican again. Saw about 5 small spiders, 4 poisonous toads and 3 geckos. Not too shabby of a day.”