A ROW of bouquets of flowers marked the entrance to a South Yorkshire park in memory of teenager Casey Kearney, as stunned friends and relatives reacted to news of her death.
The 13-year-old, who died of stab wounds on Tuesday night, had left her home in Rossington, Doncaster, at around noon on Tuesday to meet a friend. She never arrived to meet her.
Emotional messages in cards left at the scene of the stabbing in Elmfield Park, Bennetthorpe, joined flowers and cuddly toys, and a vigil was being planned for last night.
Sniffer dogs were at the scene yesterday as police continued their painstaking efforts gathering evidence at the scene, working quietly alongside the tributes.
One card, signed from Helen, Hollie and Crystal, addressed ‘Casey Angel’ and said: “I love you so much. You’ve been with me when I needed you, you were the most innocent girl I’ve ever met.
“You didn’t deserve anything that’s just happened to you. All you were trying to do was live your teenage life like the rest of us.”
Another tribute came from Mrs Wilsher and the dinner team at St Peter’s Primary School, on Sandy Lane, Belle Vue.
She said she was writing with great sadness, adding: “I have my memories of you from primary school, trying to get you to eat your dinner every day, and playing at playtime. God bless you.”
Casey’s headteacher at her school in Cantley added her own tribute to the teenager.
Catherine Brown, headteacher at McAuley School, said: “The whole school community of McAuley Catholic High School is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Casey Kearney, a pupil in Year 9, in such tragic circumstances.
“Casey was a valued member of her form and year group and will be sadly missed by friends, pupils and staff.
“We are all thinking of her family and friends at this time.”
The Rev Graham Collingwood, the vicar at St Luke’s Church at The Circle, Rossington, said: “I think now we all need to give a lot of support to Casey’s family and those affected by her death. This is a tight knit community where people still look after each other.
“I heard about what had happened on the news, like so many others.
“This is an unfortunate and tragic thing. It is something that I will touch on in my service on Sunday. People in this community will be affected by what has happened. This has been the tragic loss of a 13-year-old life.”
One of Casey’s friends told how she tried to get hold of Casey after becoming concerned about her.
Alisha Leggot said: “I rang a few times, I left some voicemails to tell her to contact us because we were worried about her.
“But we knew what had gone off in the park and I think one of us literally had a feeling that something had gone wrong but I just didn’t want to believe it.
“Everyone was saying it was Casey on Facebook, and then I got in last night and turned on the news because we knew it would be on there and I saw Casey’s picture and it just broke me.
“I don’t really know what to do.”