Shock, horror and disbelief have hit family and friends of 19-year-old Ashley Wadsworth, who was found dead in an England flat Feb. 1.
The young Vernon woman wanted to see the world, and that dream came true as she travelled to the U.K. and visited such iconic landmarks as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
“That smile, those pictures. I’m so glad she got to do something awesome in the last days of her life,” cousin Melissa Locke said.
Speaking on behalf of the large Wadsworth family, Locke said all the cousins are more like siblings.
“We have a very large and very close family here. There’s over 50 of us that live in the same small town.”
News that Ashley, an “adventurous, brave and smart girl” died in the east England town of Essex has hit hard for the close family.
“She cared so much about the rest of her life, she wanted to do many things and she got robbed,” Locke said.
“We are all extremely devastated by this and in shock.”
The accused, 23-year-old Jack Sepple of Essex, has been charged with murder.
A trial date has provisionally been set for Sept. 5, Sepple is slated to appear in court again on March 7 to enter a plea.
Ashley and Sepple were dating, and she moved to the U.K. in November, according to her Facebook page.
Dozens of photos of the two were shared on her social media account visiting landmarks, smiling and embracing.
“She always wanted to travel and she always found ways to travel in her short little life,” Locke said of Ashley who knew three languages and had been to Quebec, San Diego and Ontario.
A graduate of W.L. Seaton Secondary, Ashley had studied the Book of Morman, connected with Christ and was baptized in her teen years.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP calls the incident “very tragic news and our hearts go out to Ashley’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.”