HEARTBROKEN family of a former Hagley schoolgirl and international model who died after being hit by a train have paid an emotional tribute to her.

Tiffani Bannister was found dead on the line near Kidderminster train station on Friday (February 9) shortly before 10pm.

Officers from West Mercia Police and British Transport Police attended and her death is currently being treated as “unexplained” while they have also put out an appeal for witnesses.

The 47-year-old, who attended Haybridge High School in Hagley, had enjoyed a hugely successful modelling career during the 1990s which saw her perform on catwalks all over the world. This also resulted in TV work.

Her success saw her compete in two Miss United Kingdom competitions, taking the title of Miss Beautiful Eyes of Great Britain during the 1990s.

But she developed schizophrenia around 15 years ago which resulted in her moving back home to Kidderminster from London, where she had relocated as her career took off.

Miss Bannister’s devastated family, including father Terry, mother Ruby and sister Sheridan described her as an amazing woman.

In a statement, they said: “We are completely devastated by Tiffani’s death. She was just an incredible woman.

“She always wanted to be a model and got into it locally at the age of 17 after leaving school. She went on to enjoy a hugely successful career, moving to London and then working on catwalks all over the world. She literally had the world at her feet.

“But she developed schizophrenia. In the early days, she was aware something was wrong but did not know exactly what it was. She battled it for years but sadly she went downhill and moved back here from London.

“Tiffani was an amazing girl. We hope that she is now out of this trap of having to battle this illness and she is finally at peace.”

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “Enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances leading up to her death. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Anyone with information surrounding the woman’s death should call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting incident number 666 of 09/02/2018, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.