The family of a 15-year-old Cheshire schoolboy who is thought to have been murdered have said he "loved life" and "will be sorely missed".

Alex Rodda’s body was found outside in Ashley Mill Lane, in the village of Ashley, shortly before 8am on Friday.

An 18-year-old man, from the Knutsford area, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held in custody for questioning.

The family of Alex, who is also from the Knutsford area, said in a statement released by Cheshire Police on Saturday night: "Alex was a very loving, caring, kind, loyal and, most of all, trusting young boy.

"He loved life and made friends wherever he went.

"He will be sorely missed."

Denis Oliver, the headteacher at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, where Alex was a Year 11 Pupil, also paid tribute to the youngster.

Alex Rodda’s body was found on Ashley Mill Lane. Credit: Google Street View

In a statement posted to the school’s website, he said: "There has been much speculation on social media, however, the circumstances around Alex’s death are subject to an ongoing police investigation and we have been asked by them not to comment further at this stage.

"We will continue to cooperate fully with any requests from the police.

"The safety and wellbeing of our students is our priority. School will be open as normal on Monday and staff will be on hand to support students in any way affected by this tragic loss.

"The senior leadership team are monitoring the situation closely over the weekend.

"Alex will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him within our close-knit school family.

"Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with Alex’s family and friends at this very sad time."

Alex Rodda, 15, who was found dead in Ashley, Cheshire Credit: Cheshire Constabulary/PA

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward as they try to piece together the events leading up to his death.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Blackwell said: "Our thoughts are with Alex’s family at this extremely difficult time.

"They are currently being supported by specialist officers and we request for their privacy to be respected.

"We are in the very early stages of our investigation into Alex’s death, which we are treating as a murder.

"I would like to reassure the community that this is believed to be an isolated incident and we are doing everything we can to establish exactly what has taken place.

"Various inquiries are ongoing and we are appealing for anyone with any information or footage that may be relevant to our investigation to get in touch."