Floral tributes and fundraising campaign for Southport travel agent Cassie Hayes

Floral tributes and fundraising campaign for Southport travel agent Cassie Hayes

Flowers have been laid at the scene of a tragic murder investigation as tributes for the victim begin to pour in.

Four bouquets lie outside the Southport branch of travel agents TUI where Cassie Hayes was attacked yesterday.

The 28-year-old’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief as friends remember “one of life’s good ones”.

Police remain in Southport town centre this morning as the investigation into Cassie’s death enters a second day.

Floral tributes lie at the front of the travel agents, where emergency services were called following concerns for her safety.

The shop, along with neighbouring businesses Game, Carphone Warehouse and Vision Express, were still cordoned off on Sunday morning.

Two police patrols watched over the scene as dawn broke over Chapel Street, a pedestrianised shopping street in the heart of the town centre.

Hundreds took to social media last night to pay tribute to Cassie as news of her death spread.

Among them was her branch manager who left this touching message: “To all who knew our AMAZING Cassie. I was lucky enough to of been her manager at Thomson (Tui) Southport.

“She made me laugh, cry and enjoy going to work every day and be in her company. She is one of life’s good ones. A fund raising page has been set up in her name today.”

Floral tributes have been left outside the TUI travel agents in Chapel Street where Cassie Hayes was attacked

That fundraising page took less than nine hours to smash its initial target – of raising £1,000 in Cassie’s memory.

By 9am 94 donations had taken the total to beyond £1,300.

Set up by a fellow travel agent, a message on the Go Fund Me appeal read: “Everyone who works in travel has been deeply upset about what has happened to a fellow travel colleague, Cassie Hayes, in Southport on Saturday 13th January.

“Cassie was the assistant manager at the TUI store and was well-known to many in travel. Many of us never met Cassie but we know that if we did, we would have thought she was great. We know, because we are travel.

“We understand that Cassie had a daughter and so on behalf of everyone in travel I would like to propose that we come together and contribute to fund to help Cassie’s family as they see fit.

“Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this terrible incident, including all the TUI staff.”

A forensic officer at the scene in Southport

A forensic officer at the scene in Southport

Detectives investigating Cassie’s death are treating it as murder at this stage.

A 30-year-old man from St Helens was arrested on Saturday afternoon and remained in custody on suspicion of murder overnight.

A post mortem examination is expected to establish the cause of Cassie’s death. It is believed she was attacked with a knife.

The tragedy unfolded when the town centre was at its busiest. Customers were in the shop when police were called.

Detectives want anyone with information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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