Sarah ‘was over moon‘ and enjoying the sun
IPSWICH: Just a day before the body of Sarah Shields was discovered off the coast of Gran Canaria, she was “over the moon” enjoying her time in the sun, one holidaymaker revealed today.
Shocked at the news he heard on returning home from the Balito Beach Apartments on the Spanish island’s southern coast, Darren Haszczyn has today told the Evening Star of the 23-year-old’s last days.
And he offered his message of support and condolence to Sarah’s family and friends as they struggle to come to terms with losing her.
Mr Haszczyn, from Abergavenny, in South Wales, was on holiday celebrating his son’s 18th birthday.
They were staying at the same hotel as Sarah and her boyfriend Chris Chittock, of Alnesbourn Crescent, on the southern coast of the Spanish island.
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But when she failed to return home with Chittock, 36, her family raised the alarm, reporting her missing on Sunday, July 11.
On Wednesday, July 7, the body of a woman was discovered off Balito Beach. A week later police officers confirmed it was that of missing Ipswich golden girl Sarah.
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Last Tuesday, July 13, Chittock was arrested on suspicion of her murder and perverting the course of justice.
On Friday he appeared in front of magistrates after being charged with perverting the course of justice, where he was remanded before appearing at Ipswich Crown Court next week. He was bailed on suspicion of her murder.
As the couple spent their first holiday together Mr Haszczyn said they appeared like any young couple in love, holding hands, but keeping themselves to themselves.
He said: “Being 18, my son notices the young ladies, and Sarah really stuck out, she was a stunning girl.
“We made friends with lots of couples out there staying in the hotel, but they kept themselves to themselves.
“They spent most of their time sitting by the pool during the day and we would always see them in the bar or restaurant at night.
“She seemed so happy, they were always holding hands and she was constantly smiling, she seemed over the moon.
“I spoke to him a couple of times, small talk really about the weather and whether they were enjoying themselves. He seemed okay.
“They just seemed like any other happy young couple in love, holding hands.”
He last saw the couple on the evening of Monday, July 5 – about 36 hours before her body was found in the sea the following Wednesday.
He said: “When I found out what had happened, after hearing from friends we met out there, I was so shocked,” he added. “I was absolutely, horrendously shocked. We had only just seen Sarah a day before, and she seemed so happy.
“I want to send my deepest sympathies to her parents and family at this terribly hard time.”
n Pay your tributes to Sarah. Telephone the Newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@ eveningstar.co.uk