Sunday 20 August 2017

Teenagers arrested over death of Caitlin White (15) in suspected drugs incident at woodland hangout spot

Tragic Caitlin White
Tragic Caitlin White
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two teenagers have been arrested by police investigating the death of Caitlin White.

The males, aged 19 and 17 were taken into police custody for questioning on Monday evening.

Caitlin (15) died on Saturday night shortly after being taken to Craigavon Area Hospital  in a suspected drug-related incident in Co Armagh.

Emergency services responded to reports that the young girl had fallen unconscious in Corcrain Community Woodland, Portadown, at around 6pm.

The Craigavon Senior High School pupil had been out with a group of friends who regularly congregate in the newly developed area owned by the Woodland Trust.

Her family have told of their devastation.

The teenager was set to take her GCSE exams on Monday. The school said the tests would continue as normal.

In a statement the school said: "This is a tragic loss to the pupil’s family and to our school community.

"In response, the school has implemented a plan which will give pupils the opportunity to talk through their thoughts and feelings with trained staff from the Education Authority Critical Incident Response Team.

"A letter will be sent by the school to parents, informing them of this tragic incident and providing information on the support services available through the school.

"Given that GCSE examinations are continuing, we will endeavour to keep the school operating as normally as possible under the circumstances.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the pupil’s family and friends at this very sad time."

Read More: 'She was our world' - Family's devastation as teen dies after suspected drugs incident in woodland hangout spot

A local youth worker said that they had since been contacted by young people who wish to have a drugs and alcohol awareness course.

Jordan Russell who works with young people in the area told the BBC: "If we had a facility where we could take these young people on a Friday night, on a Saturday night, to a facility where we could educate them - they have absolutely nothing.

"They seriously need educated - kids don't know the problems and everything that goes on."

Speaking on Sunday the young girl's aunt told the Belfast Telegraph that Caitlin was "their world".

She said: "Caitlin was a great girl.

"She was our world and had a heart of gold.

"She would light up any room with her beautiful smile and her bubbly personality and will be sadly missed by her entire family.

"Sleep tight our baby girl."

Police area commander, Chief Inspector Joe McMinn, confirmed that one of line of enquiry is "a possible link to drugs".

He also confirmed that police are aware of young people gathering in the area and of several incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Police are working with local agencies and community representatives to address the issue.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the exact cause of Caitlin's death.

Mr McMinn appealed for anyone who was in the area on Saturday and who has information which could assist the police to contact them on 101 quoting reference 994 of 20/05/17.

Belfast Telegraph

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