A 19-year-old girl has become the third pupil from the same Trowbridge school to die in a suspected suicide, it emerged today.
Pretty Kayleigh-Ann Thompson, who attended John of Gaunt School in Trowbridge, Wilts., died at her home in nearby Westbury on Tuesday.
Her death follows that of Francis Scane, 15, who was found hanged last month and Zina Hereward-Isaac, 13, who died in May.
Kayleigh-Ann, a hairdressing student, was friends with Francis but her family, police and school chiefs are playing down any link between the deaths.
In a statement issued yesterday, Kayleigh’s family said: ”It is hard to explain in words how we are feeling and we will never get over losing her.
”Kayleigh was a very outgoing, beautiful young girl. She certainly enjoyed life, so we will never understand this.
”Kayleigh will always be with me, inside my heart and with every breath I take.
”She loved her three brothers and two stepbrothers deeply; this is such a heartbreaking time for all the family and friends.
”We are upset that links have been made in the media between her death and that of other young girls, and feel strongly that this is not the case.
”We are also very distressed by comments and speculation made by people claiming to be family or friends.
”This is an extremely difficult time for us all and we ask that the media will respect our wish to grieve in private.”
It also emerged yesterday that Kayleigh-Ann sent a condolence card to Francis’ family in the wake of her death and had supported a post on the Facebook tribute page to her.
A close family member of Kayleigh-Ann was quoted in a local newspaper as saying: ”She was one of Francis’ friends. They had been good friends last year.
”She was a few years older than Francis but they had met through mutual friends.
”I think there is definitely something wrong here.
”There’s a lot of girls out there with a lot of issues and they don’t know how to deal with them.
”It is heart-wrenching because I know what they are going through. I am still going through it all even now with Francis’ death.”
Local teenagers have set up three similar tribute pages on Facebook – ‘RIP Kayleigh-Ann Thompson’, ‘RIP Francis Scane’ and ‘RIP Zina Hereward-Isaac’.
Yesterday more than 700 people had logged onto Kayleigh-Ann’s tribute page news of her death spread.
One wrote: ”Such a shame to see another person gone. RIP – my thoughts are with your families and close friends.”
Her cousin, Natasha Thompson, said: ”You are in so much trouble for leaving us.
”When I finally get up there I’m gonna give you a right telling off for a change!
”I will always, always love you…I don’t really believe that heaven deserves another angel – one as good as you.
”But if that’s were you’ll be I know you’ll be watching over everyone laughing.”
One friend wrote: ”RIP Kayleigh – so sad what has happened to you – you were a beautiful young lady.”
Another added: ”I just can’t believe what has happened.
”I’m in total shock and I just can’t believe such a sweet and gorgeous girl has gone.”
Kayleigh-Ann had been a pupil at the John of Gaunt School for two years before leaving the sixth form at the age of 16.
The brunette then went on to complete a hairdressing course at Trowbridge College.
Stephanie Stephenson, director of customer services at the college, said: ”Kayleigh was a former hairdressing student at the college.
”Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with her family and friends at this tragic time.”
Wiltshire Police confirmed they were called, along with paramedics, to a house in Plimmers Place, Westbury, at 9pm on Tuesday following concerns by the occupant.
A spokesman said: ”On entry paramedics found a young woman in need of medical assistance.
”Sadly the woman died shortly after.”
In a joint statement issued yesterday, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police played down the link between the three deaths and urged troubled teenagers to seek help.
It said: ”At this stage the police have confirmed the incident is not being treated as suspicious and is not linked or connected to previous incidents.
”People in Wiltshire should be reassured that the council and other agencies are working together to protect and support young people and parents, particularly those who may have been affected by the recent media coverage.
”Our priority is to continue to provide help and assistance and we are extremely concerned that this tragic incident is not heightened or promoted and take the view that speculation and sensationalism is at best unhelpful and at worst could endanger the young or vulnerable within our communities.
”The council would also encourage young people who may be worried to talk to their parents or friends, or to speak to the pastoral staff at their school, or community youth workers, or to contact the help lines.
”If parents are worried we would encourage them to contact the dedicated advice lines or talk to their GP in confidence.”
Francis Scane, who was in her first year of GCSEs, died at her home in Westbury in September.
Her parents said at the time: ”Francis was everything to us as a family. She was our little girl, our princess, our youngest daughter and little sister.
”She was, and always will be, the centre of our world.
”We can never understand why she felt she had to leave us the way she did, and are likely never to understand.”
Zina Hereward-Isaac, who was in Year 9 at John of Gaunt School, was found dead at home in Trowbridge in May.
A series of more than 20 young suicides, in the Welsh town of Bridgend, brought the subject into the spotlight between 2007 and 2008.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.