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Family of student found dead while 'wanting to pursue her dreams' seek answers

The family of a 20-year-old student who was found dead after moving to Manchester to "pursue her dreams" are still seeking answers months after the tragedy.

The body of Charlotte Burlace-Colquhoun was found in the water at Salford Quays on December 20, two days after being reported as missing.

The young woman, described as an "incredibly gifted" student, had recently moved to Salford and lived in student accommodation.

CCTV images before she went missing showed Charlotte carrying a black tote bag, wearing a pink/red coloured wig and a black beanie hat, none of which have been found, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Charlotte had moved to Manchester to 'pursue her dreams' (


Charlotte Burlace-Colquhoun/Facebook)

Her family said they are conducting their own investigation as they desperately search for answers - and they are still searching for a number of her belongings.

Charlotte was last seen wearing a red white and blue American flag cardigan, black leggings and Doc Martens. She had a shaved head so her mum Sara said it is unclear if she was wearing the wig or not.

The mum said Charlotte left her accommodation with her key ring, key fob, iPhone and citizen ID card which are also yet to be recovered.

The family have been trying to speak to anyone who may have seen Charlotte between December 18 and the morning of December 20, when she was found dead.

Sara said: "We want to find out what happened after she left her student accommodation in the early hours of Sunday, because she wasn't found dead until over 50 hours later.

"We are trying to find out anything we can to help us get some answers about how she entered the river and why. Somebody must have seen her. Police believe she entered the river in the Frederick Road area.

"She used to love going out for walks late at night, because she had autism she often found people difficult so she would go at a time that it was quieter and there was less chance of bumping into people.

"As a family we are just trying to piece together what has happened. This has been so difficult for us all. We are desperate to find out what happened to our daughter."

Charlotte was found dead two days after being reported as missing (


Charlotte Burlace-Colquhoun/Facebook)

Sara said that Charlotte's sister Hannah had also travelled up to Salford and re-traced the five-mile-long route along the River Irwell from her accommodation to Salford Quays, scouring the area and fishing through the water with sticks in hope of finding her missing belongings to no avail.

An inquest into Charlotte's death opened at Bolton Coroner's Court on January 6. A post-mortem noted her cause of death as drowning.

"All of the valuables she had with her haven't been found and we want to know if anyone saw her or if she spoke to or was with anybody," Sara added.

"All it (the post mortem) tells us is that she wasn't dead before she entered the water - but we don't know how, when or why.

"For three and a half months we have been working full time trying to work out what's happened.

"Because she used social media we have been ploughing through all her profile and contacting friends who we don't even know. It's been like a full time job and it's draining at a time when we should be able to grieve."

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