Family’s tribute as police probe death of ‘fun-loving’ 19-year-old

Family’s tribute as police probe death of ‘fun-loving’ 19-year-old

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POLICE are continuing to investigate the death of a teenager in Birstall. Kelsey Womersley, 19, died at a flat in Raikes Lane in the early hours of last Friday morning.

A 17-year-old girl was released pending continuing enquiries on Saturday, while two men aged 20 and 19 and another woman aged 23 arrested on suspicion of murder were released with no further action taken.

Officers began a murder investigation on Friday after they were called to reports of an assault at around 12.05am. 

Despite medical attention, Miss Womersley died at the scene.

Detectives say they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the matter and are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

A local resident told The Press that Miss Womersley was known to social services and the police and had previously been subjected to violent assault and intimidation.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the long-time Birstall resident said: “We understand Kelsey was a vulnerable young woman who had been re-housed here from another part of the country.

“Apparently she had complained to police about an assault involving two individuals from Fieldhead estate but it seems she withdrew her complaint after being intimidated.

“It makes you wonder just how seriously the police take their duty to protect such young people.

“Someone close to Kelsey said she was being counselled by a senior council official right up to the point she died. It’s simply awful.”

When The Press questioned police about the resident’s claims, a spokesman said: “There is an ongoing criminal investigation into Kelsey’s death so we are not able to say anything further.”

In a separate statement, Det Sup Jim Griffiths, of the homicide and major enquiry team, said: “We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of what took place in the property just before midnight on Thursday and the precise cause of Kelsey’s death.

“I would continue to ask anyone who may have information about what occurred, who we have not spoken with, to contact the homicide and major enquiry team on 101, referencing crime number 13190122732.”

Miss Womersley’s family this week paid an emotional tribute to her, saying: “As a family, we are trying to come to terms and make some sense of this shocking situation and in time we hope that we may gain some answers to our tragic loss.

“Kelsey was only 19 years of age and had her whole life ahead of her. Kelsey was a fun-loving young lady. She had a gentle, vulnerable disposition with a heart of gold. 

“Kelsey was kind and gentle to a fault and always had the best intentions for everyone, often putting others before herself.

“As a family, we would also like to say ‘thank you’ to the emergency services who were in attendance at the address that night and for all their efforts. We are grateful to you that you tried to help Kelsey.”

A GoFundMe page set up by some of Kelsey’s friends appears to have been taken offline after her family warned against contributing to it. 

They said they weren’t consulted and didn’t support the page.

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