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Family grief over stabbed pizza man
The family of a pizza delivery driver who was stabbed to death as he delivered his last ever order before starting a dream job have described him as "the most caring and loving son a parent could have".
Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, 25, was killed on Sunday night as he was delivering a Domino's take-away in the Southey area of Sheffield.
Speaking from their family home in Sri Lanka, h is father Sarath Mahinda Peiris and mother Sudarma Narangoda said: " We sent our son to the UK to study so he can have a better life. Now we are left with only a broken heart."
Mr Peiris and Mrs Narangoda said: "We were devastated and shocked to hear of our son's tragic end and we are still unable to comprehend that he is actually gone.
"Thavisha was one of the most caring and loving sons a parent could have. He was full of life and always had a smile on his face. Anyone who met him immediately liked him.
"He was a deeply religious boy who would not even harm an ant."
They said: " We urge anyone who knows anything about our son's tragic death to come forward to help bring whoever is responsible to justice. Please help the police stop another father or mother feel the tragic loss that we are feeling."
Thavisha's older brother Pramod Chetheka Peiris said: "I am heartbroken. My brother Thavisha was the centre of our world.
"He gave us so many reasons to smile. He was kind and considerate and we were extremely proud of his achievements.
"We were so happy that he was doing so well in England. We never thought his life was in any danger.
"I can't believe he was taken away from us in this cruel and inhuman manner.
"Please, if anyone saw or heard anything that could help us catch these murderers, we beg that you step forward to help find my brother's killers."
Mr Peiris was found slumped in a silver Toyota Yaris car in Southey Crescent, in Sheffield, at about 10.30pm on Sunday.
He was found by fellow Domino's workers who had gone looking for him after he failed to delivery his last ever order.
Mr Peiris came to the UK to finish an IT degree and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2011.
He had just secured a job as an IT consultant in the city.
Yesterday, his colleagues and police said he had been feeling unwell during his last shift and was going to go home early but agreed to deliver one last order.
More than 50 police staff are involved in the investigation and his family are understood to be making plans to travel to South Yorkshire.
Yesterday, the officer leading the murder inquiry, Detective Superintendent Lisa Ray, said she did not know why Mr Peiris was killed in an apparently random attack.
She said robbery was a possibility but it appeared no money had been taken.
Later, Domino's Pizza said it was funding the cost of flying Mr Peiris's family to the UK.
His parents and brother are expected to land in the UK in the coming days.
Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Domino's Pizza, said: "All of us are shocked and deeply saddened by his senseless death and our thoughts go out to his colleagues, friends and family.
"His family being so far away adds to the pain of this tragic situation and bringing them over to the UK is of paramount importance.
"Thavisha was a very popular employee and wholly dedicated to his job with us which he greatly enjoyed. Customers of ours get to know their delivery drivers fairly well so this tragedy has hit many people very hard indeed."
Ms Ray said: "I cannot begin to imagine the heartache and pain the family will be going through, heightened by the fact they are thousands of miles away.
"Thavisha's parents had sent him to the UK to study so he could build a successful life, and that opportunity has now been taken from him in the most tragic and brutal manner.
"Specially-trained family liaison officers have been supporting Thavisha's family in every way possible since his death on Sunday evening and will continue to do so when the family arrives in England.
"I am delighted with the support Domino's have been able to offer to the family. His colleagues in Sheffield and the whole company share our determination to track down the person or people who killed a much loved colleague. Since the appalling events of Sunday night they have provided tremendous support and assistance to this investigation for which I'm very grateful."