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Service for murdered teenager

23 December 2013

PA

Closed in: forensic officers outside All Saints', on Wednesday of last week, as Thames Valley Police announced that the were to focus their investigation at a specific grave-site

Closed in: forensic officers outside All Saints', on Wednesday of last week, as Thames Valley Police announced that the were to focus their investig...

THE Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Didcot, the Revd Karen Beck, led a service on Saturday to remember Jayden Parkinson, the 17-year-old whose remains were found in a grave in the church's cemetery on Wednesday of last week.

The Oxford Mail reported that, during the service, Ms Beck said: "Today is the shortest day of the year and the darkest day of the year and that somehow seems to sum up where we are in this town and particularly where Jayden's family are."

She said Jayden "had a light shining in her", adding: "We mustn't be overcome by evil. We must overcome evil with good."

After the service, Ms Beck told the BBC that it had been "a particularly solemn occasion, one where feelings were very, very raw. The sadness and the grief that people are feeling, and possibly some of the anger as well, was there."

She said: "I think the young people, particularly, have been really touched by this event, the tragedy that has unfolded. I think they are struggling quite hard with all that has gone on. My heart really goes out to Jayden's family and particularly to the young people of our town."

Police confirmed the identity of the body found at the  Great Western Cemetery, next to All Saints, on Friday. Miss Parkinson was reported missing on 3 December. The results of the post-mortem examination were inconclusive with further toxicology reports pending.The inquest was due to begin at Oxfordshire Coroner's Court on Monday afternoon.

On 15 December, police confirmed that a 22-year-old man, Ben Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, had been charged with the murder of Miss Parkinson. The next day, a 17-year-old boy from Didcot was charged with assisting an offender.

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