The parents of a teenage girl have spoken of their loss after she hanged herself over fears of telling them she might be gay.
The body of 14-year-old Elisabeth Lowe, known as Lizzie, from Manchester, Didsbury, was found in the Millgate Fields area of Fletcher Moss Park in Didsbury at around 11.15pm on 10 September.
An inquest heard she had sent a friend a text at around 8.30pm which concluded by saying “…stay strong. I am sorry.”
Despite extended resuscitation attempts by paramedics, Lizzie was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.
The Manchester Evening News reports a post-mortem examination concluded she died from the effects of hanging and that she had no drugs or alcohol in her body at the time of her death.
She also had no diagnosable mental health problems.
Speaking about Lizzie’s fears of telling her parents about her sexuality, a friend told the inquest: “She said she wasn’t sure if they (parents) would be ok with it. I told her that I didn’t think it would be like that but she did not want to tell them.”
The inquest heard that Lizzie, described as a top performer at school and musician in a Christian orchestra, had confided to friends about self-harming and having suicidal thoughts.
One friend told the hearing that Lizzie was “finding it hard to connect with God as she thought she was lying to him”.
Recording a verdict that Lizzie killed herself, senior coroner Nigel Meadows said: “She was clearly an intelligent young woman.
“She was a successful student but was going through issues of developing maturity and exploring her sexuality and was struggling to come to terms with that against her faith beliefs.
“It is clear she was struggling and she was talking to others about it.
“She never had the opportunity to share her concerns with her parents.
“But I have absolutely no doubt they would have been supportive in their reaction.”
In a statement after the verdict, Lizzie’s mother and father, Kevin and Hillary, said: “Lizzie was a wonderful exuberant and loved member of her church, school and community.
“She was a gifted student, sportswoman and musician who was outgoing, fun-loving and enjoyed the love and respect of many friends.
“We are utterly devastated at losing her.
“Lizzie did not make known her struggle with depression and the challenges she tried to face alone as a young adult.
“We wish she had confided because she would have found a wealth of love and acceptance and support.
“The loss our precious daughter has left us broken-hearted.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need to talk to someone, visit samaritans.org , email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08457 90 90 90