Tributes to 'lovely' woman killed as she worked in travel agents

Tributes have been paid to a woman who was fatally attacked at a travel agents.

Cassie Hayes was described as a "lovely person" by former colleagues at Tui, the holiday firm whose branch in Southport, Merseyside, the 28-year-old was working in when she was attacked on Saturday.

Police were called to the town centre store in Chapel Street at 1.25pm and shortly after witnesses reported seeing a woman being stretchered on to a waiting ambulance.

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Ms Hayes, who lived in the Southport area, later died in hospital from her injuries.

One former colleague wrote on Facebook: "Such sad news about Cassie, worked with her a few times when I was working for Tui and she was such a lovely person. Thoughts are with all my friends at Tui, Tui Southport and her family and friends. RIP Cassie xxx"

Another said: "So shocked to here the sad news about Cassie. Iv not worked for Tui for a while but the time I did and worked with Cassie she was such a lovely girl. RIP Cassie. Thinking of all the Southport girls and Cassie's family"

A 30-year-old man, from the St Helens area, is being questioned in custody on suspicion of murder over Ms Hayes' death.

The incident is believed to be domestic-related, said Merseyside Police.

Stunned shoppers had looked on as emergency services, including two air ambulances, rushed to the travel agents in a bid to save Ms Hayes.

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Police later cordoned off the Tui branch and surrounding shops as forensic investigators examined the crime scene.

A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm a murder investigation has been launched following an incident in Southport today.

"Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact Merseyside Police on 101 quoting log 470 of January 13 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111."

A Tui spokeswoman said: "We regret to confirm that a female member of staff at our Southport Tui retail store tragically died in an incident today.

"We send our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the staff member involved.

"We're doing everything possible to assist the local police with their investigation and support our customers and staff at this difficult time."