A 16-year-old girl was found dead shortly after leaving her home to meet a man she met online. Police in South Yorkshire is treating the death of Leonne Weeks as “suspicious.” Her body was found on a pathway in the town of Dinnington at around 11 a.m. on January 16. Authorities said that had “concerns around the state of the body and the injuries.” A friend of Weeks’ told the Daily Mirror that the victim “had gone to meet someone” prior to her death. Weeks’ body was found by a member of the public.
On January 20, police announced that 18-year-old Shea Peter Heeley had been arrested in relation to the crime. He’s being held in Sheffield and will appear at Sheffield Magistrate’s Court on January 21. Heeley will be charged with murder.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Weeks Was Going to Meet Someone She Knew From ‘One of Those Dating Sites’
The Daily Mirror reports that police are using Weeks’ Facebook page as a source of information.
Shortly after Weeks’ body was found and flowers were laid at the scene, a man told the Mirror, “I used to be neighbors with her and know her really well = she’s a good mate of mine, is Leonne. We don’t know what’s happened, all we know is she went to meet someone – meet a man and now her body has been found. She met him off the internet – one of those dating sites.”
The BBC reports that Heeley was first arrested on January 16 on suspicion of murder.
2. The Pair Were Friends on Facebook
Heeley had been friends with Weeks on his Facebook page. Heeley says on his page that attended Dinnington Comprehensive School in Rotheram. He jokes that he lives and his from Orlando, Florida.
According to his Twitter page, Heeley was an amateur boxer. He refers to himself as “The Unit.”
The Daily Mail reports that Weeks had been studying a hair and beauty course at Dinnington College.
3. Weeks Died of Multiple Stab Wounds
Forensic tests have concluded that Weeks died after suffering multiple stab wounds. The senior detective in the case, Inspector Martin Tate, said in a statement:
Leonne’s family have had their entire lives turned upside down over the last couple of days and are utterly devastated. We are continuing to support Leonne’s family in any way that we can and have specially trained officers with them.
I’d like to ask that their privacy is respected by the media as they try to come to terms with this information.
I am grateful for the support we have received so far with the investigation and would continue to urge anyone within the local community who knows anything to come forward.
At the time of writing, a Just Giving page for Weeks’ family has raised $5,000.
4. A 26-Year-Old Woman Is Accused of Helping Heeley
On January 18, the BBC reported that 26-year-old woman had been taken into custody in Dinnington. The network said that she had been accused of helping Heeley. The woman was later released.
5. Weeks’ Facebook Page Has Become a Shrine
As the news of Weeks’ death sinks in around her community, the victim’s Facebook page has become a shrine. One friend said, “Fly high cousin can’t believe you have gone miss you.” While another pal wrote, “This is surely not happening.”
Earlier, her family had released a statement saying:
We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister Leonne. She was very much loved and will be missed by all of us. We would ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time and that we are allowed to grieve in private.
Her uncle, Danny Bowskill, wrote on Facebook, “Rest in peace my wonderful niece never thought I would ever be writing this but Leonne Weeks you [were] and still are loved by so many. I’ll be there for your dad and mum all the way.” In a later post, Bowskill referred to Heeley as a “murdering bastard.”
Dinnington councilor Simon Tweed told the Daily Mirror, “It’s a very sad day for the area today. People are still numb about what’s happened. For someone so young to be taken away from the family in such circumstances, it has left a hole in the community. My condolences go out to the family.”
While the local member of parliament, Kevin Barron, wrote on Twitter, “I am incredibly sad to hear about the discovery of a teenage girl’s body in Dinnington near my constituency office this morning.”