Ashley Wadsworth: Fundraiser to fly body of teenager who died in Essex back to family in Canada

  • Watch vigil organiser Julie Taylor's fundraising plea

The family of a teenager who died in Essex have raised more than $20,000 as they bid to fly her body home to Canada.

Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was found dead by police called to a disturbance in Tennyson Road in Chelmsford at around 4pm Tuesday, and her boyfriend has been charged with her murder.

The fundraising campaign - which aims to collect $50,000 - has been set up by a friend of the Wadsworth family, who said Ms Wadsworth "brought so much joy to those around her".

Ms Wadsworth, a practising Mormon, had moved from her home in Vernon in British Columbia to Chelmsford in November 2021, according to Facebook.

The fundraiser described the teenager as "a precious part of the Wadsworth family".

Writing on the page, organiser Jadine Wakefield said: "This is one small gesture I can do to hopefully help ease the financial strains the well known and loved Wadsworth family of Vernon BC are challenged with to bring their beautiful Ashley home from England to say their final goodbyes."

A vigil has been held to remember a Canadian teenager killed in Essex Credit: Julie Taylor

On 5 February a vigil took place at a park on Brownings Avenue in Chelmsford to remember Ms Wadsworth, and around 200 people attended.

Prayers and blessings were made by representatives from local churches including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A message from Ms Wadsworth's sister, Hailey, was also be read out and orchids laid.

The vigil was organised with the support of Ms Wadsworth's family by Julie Taylor, whose grandson Liam was murdered in 2020.

Julie Taylor said: "It was really sad. Lots of people were in tears, some were sobbing but it was also beautiful.

"It was lovely that so much of the community had come together and from different walks of life. They all just joined us one."

Of the fundraiser, Ms Taylor said: "We need to help that family get her home. She shouldn't be here, when they are there [in Canada].

"She should not be here in this country. She needs to go back to her family that love her."

A message from Ashley Wadsworth's sister was read at the vigil Credit: Family photograph

Ms Wadsworth's family said Ms Wadsworth had moved to the UK "to see the world".

She had previously visited Quebec, California, Mexico and Ontario. She also spoke three languages and had dreams of becoming a lawyer, according to the fundraiser.

Ms Wadsworth was just days away from a return visit to see her relatives before her death, according to her cousin.

  • Melissa Locke remembers her 19-year-old cousin Ashley Wadsworth.

Friends and family of Ms Wadsworth in her home country have been paying their tributes online.

Speaking to Canadian television channel CTV, her cousin Melissa Locke paid tribute to her.

She said: "She was loving. She was kind, she always wanted to travel and she did travel.

"She was adventurous. She wanted to see the world, she wanted to travel. She would find any way she could to travel."

Ms Locke thanked people for their love and support for the family since news of Ms Wadsworth death on Tuesday.

Jack Sepple, 23, of Tennyson Avenue in Chelmsford, has been charged with murder and appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday via video-link. He will return there on 7 March.