The body of the second year Media Arts student was found near Barnes Bridge in south west London on 28th December by a member of the public.
Surrey Police were first notified of Miranda’s disappearance on the 9th December, when she went missing from the Richmond flat she shared with her boyfriend of five years.
The Police informed the Missing Persons section of the Metropolitan Police who, alongside Miranda’s family and friends, immediately began actively searching for the missing 25 year old. Miranda’s details were also uploaded to the website of charity missingpeople.org.uk.
A Facebook site, entitled “Miranda is Missing” was also set up by concerned friends to inform everyone of the students’ disappearance. The site has now become an open memorial to Miranda, with over 1,600 members.
In the first of two all-student emails, sent on Monday 15th December 2008, Senior Vice-Principal Rob Kemp alerted all students to Miranda’s disappearance and appealed for anyone who may have any information to contact the Metropolitan Police.
A further email was sent on Tuesday 6th January 2009, informing students of the tragic outcome of the search for Miranda. “The Principal of the College and the Head of the Department of Media Arts have offered their condolences to Miranda’s family” wrote Senior Vice-Principal Rob Kemp.
Miranda’s body was discovered on the 28th December, and was recovered from the water by the Chiswick RNLI Crew. A member of the lifeboat crew told media: “She could have entered the Thames either upstream towards Richmond, or downstream, nearer Hammersmith”. The Police confirmed the body was that of the missing student on 2nd January.
An inquest into the students’ death was opened on December 31st, but was adjourned soon after to allow Police investigations to continue. Whilst Police are not treating the death as suspicious, investigations are continuing into how, where and why Miranda entered the water.
The College provided The Founder with an official statement: “We were extremely shocked and upset to learn that Miranda’s body has been recovered from the Thames. We had been working closely with the Met Police since her disappearance and very much hoped that she would be found alive. She will be greatly missed by her tutors and fellow students. We offer our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.”
Alongside the original Facebook site “Miranda is Missing”, set up shortly after the students’ disappearance, a further group has now been opened, “Remembering Miranda”. Whilst Miranda’s family have asked for the funeral to be restricted to family and close friends, the Facebook group, with 209 members, is being used to plan an appropriate memorial to Miranda.
The College has made a donation to the Missing Person’s charity in memory of Miranda, and have also confirmed that they plan to assist friends and family in arranging a fitting tribute to the student. Suggestions so far have included a tree, memorial service in the quad, film screening, and a display of some of Miranda’s artwork, for which she was well known amongst her friends.
The Students’ Union released a statement, saying: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Miranda Tenant. The Students’ Union wishes to offer its condolences to Miranda’s friends and family…Miranda was a valued member of both the university and the union and will be greatly missed.”
Tributes have been left on the Facebook memorial groups for Miranda, described by her mother as “beautiful [and] one of the funniest people”.
One classmate wrote, “I’ll miss you. You made class more fun. Your brain was truly awesome.” Another spoke of another of Miranda’s loves: “We’ll miss u so much..who am I gonna talk to about our cats?”
Others expressed their sympathy for Miranda’s family, holding them in their hearts and prayers, whilst another student, although having never met Miranda, summed up the feelings of many students: “She seemed very much loved, and that’s a great thing to see.”
Both the University and the Students’ Union have offered their support to anyone affected by this tragic incident. The SURHUL Student Advice Centre can be found on the first floor of the SU building, and is open Monday to Friday, 9:30am until 6pm.
The University Support and Advisory Services are located in Founders West Room 151, or can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by telephone on 01784 443394.
The entire Founder team wishes to express its condolences to Miranda’s friends and family at this most difficult of times.