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Friend of B.C. woman killed in U.K. says she sent a text for help hours before she was killed

Click to play video: 'Murder charge laid in U.K. death of Vernon teen' Murder charge laid in U.K. death of Vernon teen
The boyfriend of a B.C. teen has now been charged with murder in the United Kingdom. In Vernon, the 19-year-old’s home town, friends and family are remembering Ashley Wadsworth as a kind, down to earth young woman who loved to travel. – Feb 3, 2022

Ashley Wadsworth’s friends and family were happily following along with the pictures and updates she sent back home from her U.K. adventure.

They took pleasure in the 19-year-old’s bright smile in photos showcasing the places she’d been, the sights she’d taken in and the apparent joy it all brought her.

“Ashley was adventurous. She was loving and she was kind. She always wanted to travel and she did travel,” cousin Melissa Locke said Thursday.

Read more: Charge laid after B.C. woman killed in U.K.

They were confident that the Vernon, B.C., woman, who had gone to the U.K. on a six-month tourist visa in November, was having the time of her life, although one friend said she had lingering concerns about the man she’d travelled to meet.

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Tianna Kowalchuk said she and Wadsworth had been friends from infancy, connected by their parents’ high-school friendship.

She said Wadsworth had met 23-year-old Jack Sepple through a mutual friend online, and that she’d spoken to him multiple times over the five years he and Wadsworth had been talking.

“He didn’t like me because I encouraged her to not be with him,” Kowalchuk said, adding that she couldn’t name a particular red flag about him but that he wasn’t the “nicest guy” to her friend.

During the trip, however, she said she never suspected there was a problem.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Jack Sepple, of Tennyson Road, Chelmsford, appearing in the dock at Colchester Magistrates’ Court accused of the murder of a 19-year-old Canadian woman who was found dead in Chelmsford. A statement from Essex Police says 19-year-old Ashley Wadsworth died Tuesday, shortly after officers were called to a disturbance at a home in Chelmsford, northeast of London. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP.

“She was sending me videos. She was happy that she was with him, and she was excited because when she was supposed to come back, she wanted him to eventually try and come back to Canada as well,” Kowalchuk said.

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“She wanted me to meet him in person and hang out with him.”

That changed on Feb. 1, hours before Wadsworth was killed.

Read more: Young woman from B.C. stabbed to death in U.K.

“I got a text message that was our time 3:30 a.m. that she was seeking help … and needed me to contact a member of our church on her behalf so they could help her,” Kowalchuk said.

The message, sent to other friends as well, didn’t say why she needed help or explain what she was dealing with, Kowalchuk said.

Due to the hour it was sent, they didn’t see it until they woke up much later. Kowalchuk said they called the church member on Wadsworth’s behalf and waited to hear back.

Later that night, she said she heard from one of Wadsworth’s family members that her friend had been killed.

Click to play video: 'Vernon teen stabbed to death in the U.K' Vernon teen stabbed to death in the U.K
Vernon teen stabbed to death in the U.K – Feb 3, 2022

Det. Chief Insp. Scott Egerton with the Essex police said they were called to Sepple’s home in Chelmsworth after a neighbour called in a disturbance.

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Officers arrived to find Wadsworth and called in paramedics, but it was too late.

A man was arrested at the scene, police said. Sepple was later charged with murder.

Click to play video: 'Vernon teen killed in the U.K. reached out for help' Vernon teen killed in the U.K. reached out for help
Vernon teen killed in the U.K. reached out for help – Feb 4, 2022

WATCH ABOVE: The man accused of killing a Vernon teen made another appearance in court Friday in the U.K. Meanwhile, one of Ashley Wadsworth’s friends in Canada has come forward to say the 19-year-old reached out for help before she died.
Jack Sepple, left, is charged with the murder of B.C. teen, Ashley Wadsworth. FACEBOOK

Sepple appeared in court on Friday and remains in custody. He did not apply for bail.

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His next court appearance was set for March 7 for a preliminary trial and preparation hearing.

Kowalchuk said she wants to honour her friend’s memory by living life to the fullest.

“I will carry on for her, live out for some things she wanted to do, and … keep good thoughts about her around.”

 

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