A colourful memorial to tragic Celine

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The Independent Online
The parents of the murdered French student Celine Figard (right) will today dedicate a garden to her memory, in the village where he body was discovered. Celine, 19, was found dead in a lay-by, near Ombersley, Worcestershire, in January 1996.

She had gone missing while travelling from her home in France to spend Christmas with her cousin at a Hampshire hotel. She was last seen accepting a lift at a motorway service station.

Despite a massive nationwide search for the vehicle over the freezing New Year period, Celine was not found until her body was dumped by the roadside. She had been raped and bludgeoned to death. Lorry driver Stuart Morgan was later convicted of her murder and is serving a life sentence.

The teenager's father, Bernard, a farmer, and her mother, Martine, travelled from their home in France to attend Morgan's trial at Worcester Crown Court, listening to the evidence with the help of a police interpreter.

The garden, in the grounds of St Andrew's Parish Church in Ombersley, which has been paid for by the local community, was designed by a local garden centre with a spring-time theme, and will flower every February with white daffodils, narcissi and wild flowering bulbs.

Many of the flowers and plants originate from France.

The man who led the investigation into Celine's murder, Chief Superintendent John McCammont, and the West Mercia Police Chief Constable, David Blakey, will also attend the ceremony.

Canon Peter Kerr, Rector of Ombersley, said: "The garden is visible and lasting evidence of the strong and insistent wish of the people of this county that Celine should not be forgotten.

"It is also a living expression of our hope that young people from both our countries should travel and return home safely."