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'Unexplained death' of Kiwi girl Emily Longley in UK

Last updated 12:13 09/05/2011
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A New Zealand teenager who died mysteriously in England seemed unconcerned by an apparent stalker, a friend says.

Emily Longley
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UNEXPLAINED DEATH: Emily Longley.
SarahLee Terblanche
JOHN SELKIRK
MYSTIFIED: SarahLee Terblanche had recently talked to Emily Longley on Facebook and said she'd "seemed exactly normal".

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A New Zealand teenager who died mysteriously in England seemed unconcerned by an apparent stalker, a friend says.

Emily Longley, 17, died in "unexplained circumstances", with police urgently seeking witnesses who noticed any suspicious behaviour.

The former Westlake Girls High School student was found dead at a house in Bournemouth in England on Saturday morning (UK time).

British police were speaking to a 19-year-old man who they say is "helping" with enquiries.

Emily's father, Mark Longley told the New Zealand Herald his daughter apparently died in her sleep but the cause of her death was unknown.

Her friend SarahLee Terblanche, 19, told Stuff she had recently talked to Emily on Facebook chat and said she'd "seemed exactly normal".

Emily had been dating a 19-year-old man who owns a jewellery store but they'd recently broken up, she said.

Her death came just two days after writing on Facebook that she had a "stalker", telling friends she had been receiving calls from a private number and was "really scared".

"Someone just called me and i was like whos this [sic]? and they were like you dont know me but i know everything about you. and i was like how did you get my number and he was like ill tell you when i see you and kept asking me out. so i hung up and they wont stop calling," Emily wrote on Thursday, May 5.

A day later there was a post saying "down and out".

Terblanche said Emily was concerned about the stalker but seemed to think it was "nothing serious".

The former boyfriend had commented on Emily's post about the stalker but the comment has since been deleted.

"She said on Facebook chat that they were having quite bad fights so they broke up."

Terblanche said Emily's Auckland friends were planning a get-together in Emily's memory.

"It's very hard waiting to hear what happened to a friend - especially on the other side of the world."

Terblanche said Emily was sent to live with her grandparents shortly after she had a party and some of her mother's jewellery was stolen.

She said Emily's parents were quite strict and whenever friends picked her up from her North Shore home her father would come out and see who was in the car.

It is understood her parents, who have separated, are already on their way to the United Kingdom.

Terblanche said Emily seemed to like living in the UK and was making a lot of new friends. She had a job at clothing store Top Shop.

She described her friend as out-going and friendly and said when Emily lived in Auckland she always made plans about where they would go and what they would do.

Westlake Girls High School principal Alison Gernhoefer said at this stage the school is not saying anything unless it has the approval of Emily's parents.

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She said she had passed on her condolences and when the time comes the school will plan something in Emily's memory.

Hundreds of messages have been left on a Facebook tribute page for Emily.

British police are appealing for people who witnessed anything suspicious or unusual in the area or anyone who has any information regarding this incident to contact them urgently.

* This story has been updated.

An earlier version implied that SarahLee Terblanche did not think the Facebook stalker threat was serious, when in fact she considers it was an issue.

- Stuff

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