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Canadian Mormon Teen Allegedly Fatally Stabbed By U.K Boyfriend She Met Online
The 19-year-old Canadian was found fatally stabbed in the bed of the boyfriend she'd moved to England to be with just months before her death.
The boyfriend of a Mormon teenager from Canada who was found stabbed to death in Chelmsford, England last week has been arrested, according to reports.
Jack Sepple, 23, is in police custody in connection with last Tuesday’s deadly knife attack on 19-year-old Ashley Wadsworth, according to Essex Police.
Police were dispatched to Sepple’s two-story Essex County apartment around 4 p.m. on Feb. 1 after neighbors reported a possible disturbance at the property. Wadsworth, who was found suffering from stab wounds in Sepple’s bed, was pronounced dead by paramedics on the scene at the Tennyson Road property.
Authorities described the woman’s slaying as an isolated incident in a statement issued last week.
“We have a team of dedicated officers working around the clock to establish the circumstances which led to a woman losing her life,” Essex police Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton said. “The investigation is progressing well, but we will remain on scene for a few more days whilst we continue to gather evidence and establish the facts.”
Sepple, who was charged with murder, made an initial court appearance at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Feb. 3.
Wadsworth had left Canada and moved overseas in late 2021 to be with Sepple, who she met online, the BBC reported. She had not previously traveled abroad.
Since moving to the U.K., Wadsworth had posted a number of pictures on social media showing her and Sepple grinning for the camera and visiting various tourist attractions.
“Ashley was adventurous,” her cousin Melissa Locke told Global News last week. “She was loving and she was kind. She always wanted to travel and she did travel.”
However, shortly before her death last week, Wadsworth reportedly sent a childhood friend in Canada a cryptic text message indicating she needed help.
“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,” Tianna Kowalchuk told Global News.
A makeshift memorial for the Canadian teen, including bouquets of flowers and candles, has since sprung up near the site of the killing in Chelmsford.
"Ashley was such a lovely girl," one neighbor of the couple told CBC News. "She was so polite”
The apparent murder has shook local residents of the quiet English community, which is located just over 40 miles northeast of London.
“It's such a waste," the neighbor added.
Wadsworth was originally from Vernon, British Columbia, according to her Facebook profile. Relatives described the young Canadian woman as “strong, smart and witty.”
"We are all extremely devastated," Wadsworth’s stepmother, Charmaine Wadsworth, also told CBC News.
A trial preparation hearing in the pending case has been set for March 7, a spokesperson for Essex Police confirmed this week. Sepple hasn’t yet entered a plea on his own behalf and it's unclear if he has retained legal representation.
Essex Police, who refrained from commenting further on the open case on Monday morning, are now urging the public to come forward with any viable tips.
Anyone with additional information regarding the ongoing investigation into Wadsworth’s suspected murder is encouraged to contact U.K. authorities by calling Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111 or by submitting an anonymous online tip.