THE family of a “much-loved” teenager found dead on Calton Hill have paid tribute to her as police probe her final hours.

Mhari O’Neill is thought to have met a friend in Edinburgh city centre on Friday before going to the local landmark.

The 15-year-old’s body was discovered there at around 6.30am the following morning by a member of the public.

She had been reported missing hours earlier.

Her death is currently being treated as unexplained and police and her family have appealed for information.

In a statement, the Portobello High pupil’s family said: “Mhari was much loved by all that knew her and we know that her passing will have a profound impact on her closest friends, as it has ourselves.

“Mhari was considering applying to attend university and one of her main passions was music; she loved going to gigs.

“What we need now is to find out exactly what happened to Mhari and we want anyone who thinks they may have information to get in touch with the police.

“We thank everyone for their support and ask that we be left in privacy to grieve at this time.”

The youngster, from Willowbrae, is believed to have met a friend near Waverley Station, but her subsequent movements are not fully understood.

Appealing to the public for help, Detective Inspector Susan Balfour said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Mhari’s family and friends at this time and we are carrying out a thorough investigation to establish the full circumstances surrounding her death.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who believes they may have seen her throughout the evening or early morning of Saturday, so we have a clearer picture of all her movements.

“We are committed to providing Mhari’s family with as much information in relation to her death as possible and anyone who can assist with our ongoing inquiry is urged to come forward.

“Naturally, we are working closely with partners in education to help support any young people who may have been affected by Mhari’s death.”

Portobello High head teacher Ruth McKay said pupils and staff are “deeply saddened and shocked”.

She added: “Mhari was a lovely, friendly girl who was well liked by both staff and young people.

“Her bubbly, outgoing nature and ready smile will be much missed in school. We have been ensuring that young people and staff are offered all the support they need at this sad time.”

Anyone with information murdeshould call the Major Investigation Team in Edinburgh via 101, quoting incident number 900 of December 8.