The 16-year-old girl who was murdered in Blackpool at the weekend had been stabbed so many times that there was no blood left in her body.

Sasha Marsden was stabbed 100 times before her body was wrapped up and set on fire in an alley in the South Shore area of Blackpool.

Her burning remains were found after they triggered a smoke alarm at the back of a hotel.

Carl Evans, 35, who owns the nearby Kimber House Hotel, said: "I heard the fire alarm go off next door but I didn't think anything of it at first.

"Then a dog walker called out for help. Three of us ran out and we were trying to extinguish the flames. I didn't realise it was a body at first.

"The girl was curled up in the foetal position. She was very small and it looked like she had no legs. It has been a massive shock."

Local bed and breakfast manager David Minto, 22, was charged with Sasha's murder and appeared at Blackpool magistrates' court yesterday.

He spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

Minto appeared at Preston Crown Court today, and will return on 24 April to enter his plea. His trial is scheduled to take place on 15 July.

He is alleged to have lured Sasha to his hotel with the promise of weekend work before he attacked her.

Sasha's parents, Jayne, 45, and Gary, 40, paid tribute to their daughter in a statement.

"No words can express how we feel. Our beautiful daughter has been taken from us. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, great granddaughter, auntie, niece, cousin and girlfriend," they said.

"She was very much loved and her loss has left a huge gap in all our lives, a gap that can never be filled."