The parents of former Auckland student Emily Longley have made a heartfelt public plea in the UK for information about her death.
Her mother Caroline, who came from Auckland on Monday, and her father Mark, who had just arrived from Whakatane, said they still don’t know what killed the 17-year-old on Saturday.
Miss Longley, an aspiring model, died in her ex-boyfriend Elliot Turner’s bed at his parents’ home in Bournemouth, south England.
The 19-year-old and another teenager, aged 17, were arrested but released on bail as police await toxicology results to determine the cause of death.
Miss Longley’s parents said in a joint family statement: “Our beautiful, wonderful Emily is gone and we don’t know how. We have to wait until the police finish their investigations. We are confident that they will be thorough and we truly appreciate their sympathetic and discreet support.
“We ask that anyone who knows anything about events involving Emily last Friday evening and night to contact the investigating team.”
The Longleys said they were very grateful for the sympathy and support they’d received “from so many kind people”.
“The deluge of messages of regret and tributes to Emily on Facebook has been astonishing. The number of people who knew her and love her is amazing.”
They said there had been “a great deal of distressing speculation” about how Miss Longley died.
“We ask everybody to join us in waiting patiently for the police to complete their investigation. In the meantime, please respect her family’s privacy while we come to terms with this tragic loss.”
Elliot Turner’s home is still cordoned off by police who have been coming and going most of the day.
The couple are thought to have broken up recently.
Miss Longley was sent to live with her grandparents, Zosia and Ronald Longley, in the UK after falling in with the “wrong crowd” while attending Westlake Girls High.
She was studying at Brockenhurst College in the New Forest area, about an hour north of her home, and also worked at the local Top Shop store.