A FORMER Bourne Grammar School student is in shock after the news her ex-boyfriend was murdered in America.
Liz Clare (25) was a former girlfriend and still a close friend to James Kouzaris, who was killed with his friend while on holiday in Florida during the early hours of Saturday, April 16.
Miss Clare dated Mr Kouzaris, of Northampton, for three years while she was studying at the University of Leeds and he was at the University of Sheffield.
The pair met through mutual friends on a visit to Northampton, before splitting up amicably when Miss Clare returned to Stamford.
Miss Claire was quoted in the national press last week describing Mr Kouzaris as “adorable, genuine and amazing”.
“I got the phone call as I was sitting in a beer garden, I couldn’t believe it,” she was quoted as saying.
“I kept telling my friend he was lying to me. I don’t think it will ever sink in for any of us. These things don’t happen to people like us – to people like Jam and Coop.
“The three years we had were amazing.
“We were part of a very close group of friends and he was always the silly one of the group, saying silly things and doing silly things.
“He was so adorable, so genuine and would do anything for anyone.
“Everyone who met him described him as amazing. Everyone just loved him.
“This is just the most awful, awful thing to have happened and it will affect our lives forever. It will never be OK.
“I will always love him and I will miss him so much.”
Mr Kouzaris and friend James Cooper were found in a narrow one-way street in the Newtown area of northern Sarasota, on the west coast of Florida. A 16-year-old youth was arrested and charged with murder.
Police are also investigating how the pair came to be in the area, which is said to be a “no-go” area for tourists and was a number of miles away from their hotel.
Police have released CCTV footage of the two friends in a bar two hours before the shooting.
The pair were on a three week holiday in Florida with Mr Cooper’s family.