Couple with Crawley family died in Tunisian massacre

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The family of John and Janet Stocker, whose grandchildren live in Crawley, has confirmed they died in the Tunisian beach massacre.

The Stocker family said in a statement today (Tuesday June 30): “They were both young at heart and enjoyed all that life could offer, and especially enjoyed travelling to new places, exploring and appreciating local cultures, and they died together doing what they enjoyed most; sunbathing side by side.”

John and Janet Stocker went missing after a gunman opened fire at tourists on a beach on Friday (June 26) near the hotel the couple were staying.

Samuel Stocker, from Crawley, started a social media campaign in a bid to find his grandparents.

His sister Laura wrote on Twitter: “My brother @SLStocker91 is doing an amazing job getting #FindJohnStocker trending. Desperately waiting for news.”

Their Twitter appeal reached Tunisians who gave the family contact numbers for local hospitals and hotels.

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Samuel, a former Thomas Bennett Community College student, posted pictures on social media of John and Janet.

He said on Twitter: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart everyone. Your support and help has been overwhelming.”

His sister Charlie also shared the appeals on social media.

John and Janet, who live in London, have five children.

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Their son, Mark told Sky News: “Their mobile is ringing and ringing and doesn’t get answered.

“We’ve spoken to everyone we possibly can. The Foreign Office can’t give us any information yet, that’s the worrying thing.”

He added: “They’ve been to Tunisia before, that’s why they went back this year. They chose a different hotel because they loved it there.”

Mark’s brother spoke to staff at the hotel their father was staying at.

Mark said: “They’ve checked the room for him and came back, they’ve said their stuff is still in the room, so it’s strange - cannot contact them, they’ve not contacted us but their belongings are in the room so where are they?”

Samuel appealed for help in a radio interview. He said on Twitter today: “It is with great regret that I have to inform everyone that John and Janet Stocker were confirmed dead today. Thank you all for your support”

Thirty eight people were killed in the terrorist attack in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Most of those killed were staying at Hotel Rui Imperial Marhaba - where The Stockers were staying - and neighbouring Hotel Rui Bellevue Park.

David Cameron announced a national minute’s silence to remember the Britons killed would be held on Friday at noon.

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