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Death in a park after life on the streets: The tragic story of homeless teenager Aaron French-Willcox

Aaron was just 19 when he died

Aaron French-Willcox was 19 years old when he died.

He was homeless and was living in a tent in a park in Cardiff.

It was mid-February and temperatures had plummeted to below freezing.

Aaron had found himself living in a shelter after addiction and family problems left him without a proper roof over his head.

He struggled with life on the streets.

He was bullied, and retreated beyond the help of those who loved him.

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His family described Aaron as 'playful' and was 'always making people laugh'.

Aaron had also recently become a father himself.

Aaron's siblings described him as 'playful' who was 'always making people laugh'

For the first time, Aaron's brother and sister spoke to ITV News about how their brother became a victim of the growing problem of homelessness - and how such a young life ended in tragedy.

Aaron's sister Briony

When he was in the hostel I'd be down there every day after college.

I'd take him shopping, take him drinks just to see him.

We'd chill for a bit just so he wasn't on his own all the time.

But when he got kicked out of there, we lost contact with him. He sent everyone in the family a message on 21st January and no-one heard off him after that.

– Briony Ward, Aaron's sister

Rhys and Briony went back to find the place they believe Aaron was living - and ultimately where he died.

In a small wood, old food packaging, as well as drug paraphernalia can be seen on the ground.

He was 19 years old in the winter.

It was freezing cold. It's not the best place for someone to be, is it?

But it feels better to come here and finally see where I've been imagining what it could look like.

– Rhys Willcox

Aaron was suffering with Type 1 Diabetes and was resuscitated in hospital shortly before his death.

According to an eyewitness, staff were heard to comment on Aaron's frail condition.

He weighed just six stone when he died.

"I wouldn't want another family to go through what we've been through. I didn't know bad it could hurt until it actually happened. You can't imagine it", said his brother Rhys.

Aaron (left) pictured with his brother Rhys when they were younger

He wasn't alone. But he was alone.

He didn't have any of his family around him.

He was a really sensitive person. He got really scared easy. He didn't like the dark or spiders. It's hard to think he was out there without us around him.

– Briony Ward, Aaron's sister
Aaron pictured with his sister Briony

Aaron's family want to do more to help people who find themselves in a similar situation.

Sister Briony is now working with the homeless in Cardiff because of what happened to Aaron.

"We should be listening to their stories instead of judging. Not everyone is a drug addict. Not everyone chooses to be homeless."

A full inquest into Aaron's death is due to take place next month.