TRIBUTES have been paid to a 12-year-old girl who was found dead at her home.

Jessica Jevons, a year eight pupil at St George’s RC High School in Walkden, died at her home in Mereclough Avenue, Walkden.

Police and paramedics were called to the house at 9.20pm on February 5, following a report that a young girl had died.

Her death is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest was opened and adjourned at Bolton Coroner’s Court last Friday.

A police spokesman said: “The parents and family of Jessica have said they are deeply devastated and shocked at this time and express how much Jessica touched the hearts of many, especially her twin brother Patrick.

“Her parents will always remember Jessica’s heavenly hugs and state she will be very sadly missed but never forgotten.

“Given this tragic event we express the family are now allowed to grieve and their privacy is respected.”

Philip Harte, the headteacher at Jessica’s school, said their thoughts and prayers were with her family.

He said: “She was an extremely popular girl, especially amongst the staff, and she will be fondly remembered for her lively outgoing character.”

A letter was sent out to parents on February 6, informing them of Jessica’s death.

The letter said: “This sad news has come as a great shock to us all and I am proud of the dignity and respect shown by our staff and children as we have supported each other.

“I do realise that many parents will be talking to their children about death for the first time and I pray that God will give you, and us in school, the strength, courage and wisdom to say the things which will help our children come to terms with what has happened.”

Mr Harte said there would be opportunities for pupils at the school to reflect and talk through their feelings and any children struggling to deal with their grief would be supported.

A Facebook page set up in memory of Jessica has been “liked” by more than 1,000 people.

Claire Fewings, the parent of one of Jessica’s friends, said: “Jess showed kindness, love and compassion for her friends and family like no other child I’ve known.

“I would see Jess most mornings on my way to work, she would have a spring in her step, sparkling eyes and run over to me and Nathan.

“My memories of Jess will forever be of a very special, happy, smiling beautiful girl and a dear friend to my son.”

Father John Flynn, from the Salford Diocese, said: “It is very sad and we hope and pray for the family at this time and offer our sympathy.”