The mother of Dorset teenager Gaia Pope-Sutherland, who went missing a year ago today, has told family members that when she goes to bed at night she feels guilty for feeling warm, because her daughter died of hypothermia.

It’s just one of the tragic ways in which the 19-year-old old’s death has impacted her friends and family over the past 12 months, as they enter the 11-day run up to the anniversary of the discovery of Gaia’s body, near Dancing Ledge later this month.

“We all have survivor’s guilt,” said her cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann. She has lead Justice For Gaia the website and media campaign which presses for a wide-ranging investigation and inquest into the causes and lead up to Gaia’s death, including police handling of a sexual assault on Gaia in 2015. “It’s my way of not shattering into a thousand pieces,” she said.

Marienna praised her cousin as ‘very smart and clued in. “Gaia was one of the most empathetic people I have ever known, almost too empathetic, she felt other people’s pain as though it were her own,” she said. “She was very sensitive and brave for others; most of the scraps she got into at school were when she saw someone being bullied. If she saw something that wasn’t right, she never didn’t speak. She always stuck up for others and that’s why we are sticking up for her now.”

She said the family felt ‘fierce’ and that they had had to fight. “Not just through legal stuff but when she was missing, it felt we were constantly fighting to be heard, fighting for what had happened to her to be taken seriously,” said Marienna. “I called it our Lioness side because you absolutely have to be a Lioness over this.”

She said that along with campaigning for justice, Gaia’s website also tried to open up a place where people with mental health issues could have a conversation and one of those ways was through the Art For Gaia project.

“Art was one of the things which helped her,” she said, adding that the family encouraged anyone who had been touched by Gaia’s story, or who had joined the public searches for her to join the Art For Gaia initiative.

“Everything we say, we think of how she would want to be spoken about,” she said. “We think about her values and the positive change she wanted to see in the world.”

Marienna praised Purbeck community for its support over the past year but said the family would not be holding any public commemoration, preferring to gather privately on the weekend of November 17 and 18.

However, they put out the following statement as they continue their battle for answers. "If you know anything that might aid the investigation into Gaia's rape case or the missing persons investigation and help us learn the truth, please come forward; not just for Gaia's sake, but for the sake of anyone else who might be at risk."