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A bright young life cut short

By Morgan Neill, CNN
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Meredith Kercher profile
  • Meredith Kercher was 21 years old when she was murdered in Perugia, Italy
  • Born and raised in Coulsdon, south of London, Kercher was a third year student at UK's Leeds University
  • Her parents look forward to the end of the trial so they can remember her as the person they knew

London, England (CNN) -- Meredith Kercher was 21 years old when she was killed. She grew up in a house in the town of Coulsdon, South of London.

One of four children, her family described her as having a good sense of humor and what her father called "a sense of the ridiculous."

While growing up she was interested in poetry, gymnastics and ballet.

Her family has understandably tried to avoid the press, but some of the elements of her life are clear.

Kercher was a third year student at the University of Leeds focusing on European Studies.

She went ot Perugia, Italy on a study abroad program at the end f August 2007, taking course in European Politics and Italian.

Her father John, a journalist, wrote in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper describing the moment he learned the British student killed in Perugia was his daughter. He'd spoken to her the day before.

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"I drop the phone," he wrote, " I don't believe it and think there must be a mistake. But I know it's probably true. I can't cry. I'm numb with shock."

But he also tells about hearing that some of Meredith's friends planned to lay flowers at her old school.

Expecting just a few, he and Meredith's mother, Arline arrived to find more than seventy people,some having come from around the country.

As the murder trial nears a verdict, Meredith Kercher's parents say they miss her more than ever.

They look forward to a conclusion, they say, so they can remember her as the person they knew and not as a victim or a news item.