Sophie Cartlidge pictured next to Andrew Grimes, who has been charged with rape and murder (Image: MEN MEDIA)

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A man has been charged with the rape and murder of a 'beautiful' nursery worker who he lived with.

Sophie Cartlidge, 39, was found dead at her home in Bottesford, Scunthorpe, on Friday morning.

Andrew Grimes, 37, from Scunthorpe, appeared in Grimsby Magistrates' Court to face one charge of murder and two charges of rape, GrimsbyLive reports.

Police went to Sophie's home after receiving reports of concern for a person's safety.

The property was shared by Sophie and Andrew, although the defendant had a separate address, police said.

Officers said no weapons were involved in the mum's death although she had suffered significant injuries.

Sophie, who worked at Little Acorns Pre-School in Broughton, Leicestershire, has been described as the 'kindest and loveliest woman' in touching tributes.

Parents said nursery worker Sophie had a 'heart of gold'
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

In court, Grimes spoke only to confirm his age and address and no pleas were entered to any of the charges.

Prosecutor Martin Howarth appearing on a video link, told the court the case had to be referred to the Hull Crown Court within 48 hours.

He requested magistrates to preside over the referral to Hull.

Defence lawyer Andrew Havery made no application after speaking to his client earlier.

He was remanded in custody to reappear at Hull Crown Court on Wednesday.

The nursery posted on social media: “We are devastated to have lost our friend and colleague Sophie on Friday, June 18.

She was killed at her home in Baldwin Avenue, Bottesford
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

“We have spoken with all parents of Little Acorns to inform them of this week's closure.

“We ask at this time for your continued patience and understanding while her friends and family grieve their loss.

“We thank those that have laid flowers at the setting.

“Updates will be given by the committee as we continue to support our team.”

The nursery will be closed for a week as her friends and colleagues mourn the tragic loss.

One mum, whose son attended the nursery, said: “This really has broken my heart, this beautiful woman had such an impact on my son’s life. Sophie was always his favourite at nursery and they had such a special bond.

Police said no weapons were involved in her murder, although she suffered significant injuries
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

“She was adored by absolutely everyone. She lit a room with her bubbly personality and the children doted on her.

“Sophie wasn’t his key worker but she was always his favourite. They had a beautiful bond and she was absolutely incredible at her job.

“To this day, whenever I saw her, she always asked how he was and couldn’t wait to see him again.

“What a beautiful lady and teacher this lady was to me and my son.

“Truly heart-breaking how someone so loved and appreciated can be taken away from a world.

"Rest in peace Sophie. Thank you for being so special and a big part of my son’s life, he for sure absolutely adored you. You were truly amazing at your job, we was lucky enough to know you.”

Floral tributes were left in Baldwin Avenue following her death
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

Floral tributes have been left opposite Sophie's home on Baldwin Avenue, where police are continuing to maintain a presence.

Dozens of tributes have also been left online by those that knew her.

One woman said the news had "truly broken my heart. So sorry this happened to a beautiful, kind woman.

"Sophie was an amazing lady who worked in my son's nursery and she will be extremely missed. Sending so much love and prayers to her friends and family and all the little lives she’s helped shape."

Another parent said: “Sophie has helped so many, she really did have a heart of gold and will be truly missed by all.”

"Sophie was loved by all – such a friendly lady and adored by all children. She will be sadly missed and remembered by all."

Emergency services arrived at the scene around 9.10am on Friday, June 18 after reports of concern for a person's safety.

Police said that no weapons were involved, but that Sophie suffered significant injuries at the property she shared with Andrew.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Taylor said: “Our thoughts remain with Sophie’s family and loved ones who continue to be supported by our specialist trained officer at this sad time.

“This is an isolated incident and there is no wider risk to members of the public.

"Our neighbourhood teams will continue to support and speak to local residents, if you see our officers please come and speak them if you have any concerns.

“I want to say thank you to those who have helped with our enquiries throughout our investigation.”