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Milda Okunyte RIP: Friends gather to celebrate artistic creativity of Lithuanian student who died on Tuesday

Posted on - 29th March, 2015 - 9:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Crime, Friargate, Lancashire Police, News, University
Milda Okunyte was studying illustration in Preston

Milda Okunyte was studying illustration in Preston

Friends have gathered to pay their respects to a talented illustration student who died in a suspected hit and run on Tuesday.

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Milda Okunyte, 20, was from Lithuania and studying at the University of Central Lancashire.

On Sunday evening a weekly musical event at the Beautiful Planet cafe in Friargate was dedicated to Milda’s memory.

She was a regular visitor to the cafe and built up a strong bond with many who attended the weekly Hemp Redemption night.

Sunday’s event was branded as “In Memory of Magical Milda” and money is being raised to help fly Milda’s family to Preston from Lithuania.

Katie Ryan of Preston band Mobious Loop helped organised the night and said there was a constant memorial to Milda in the cafe for friends to leave memories and tributes.

Artwork posted online by Milda’s friends and artists shows the talent of the work she was producing for her course.

Antonia Hennerly has written a blog post showcasing some of Milda’s drawings and paintings.

In it she pays tribute saying: “One lady, Milda Okunyte, has left a lasting impression and energy in preston since she left this body on earth. She was and is a beautiful soul who created music, made art and was aspiring to be an illustrator.

A piece of Milda's artwork

A piece of Milda’s artwork

“The above dreamy image is by Milda. Here is Milda’s beautiful page of creations, she has given us these gifts, little pieces of her soul, in art form, leaving these behind to grace our eyes.”

Ryan has also taken to social media to pay tribute to Milda as an artist.

She said: “Our little community here in preston will never be the same having known you! Thank you goddess Milda Okunyte Thank you for being! Thank you for so many things! Peace beautiful soul! Where ever you are now, we will all be following not long after, and like the angle you are, you guide us all into the un-known. I love you Milda.”

A slideshow of Milda’s artwork was shown as part of the Beautiful Planet event.

On Saturday a statement was released by Milda’s tutor at UCLan.

Steve Wilkin, course leader in illustration, said: “Staff and students at UCLan were deeply shocked and saddened to hear about their friend Milda Okunyte’s tragic death.

“Milda was a very talented artist with amazing potential. She was a warm and friendly member of the illustration course who was universally loved by her fellow students and lecturers.

“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Milda’s family in Lithuania, we are so sorry to lose her.”

Mystery still surrounds the death of the student who was found lying in Preston New Road near Clifton around 10.50pm on Tuesday 24 March. She was taken to Royal Preston Hospital but later died.

She had last seen seen at 3pm on the Tuesday in the city centre and Preston Police are trying to trace her final movements.

A 26-year-old man from Lytham St Annes has been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and has been bailed until May 29.

Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 1379 of March 24th.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you would like to pay tribute to Milda you can email your tribute to contactus@blogpreston.co.uk

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