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Girl found dead in Newtownards park

A teenager in Newtownards has been found dead from suspected solvent abuse.

The girl, aged 15, was staying in Ashgrove residential care home for young people but was discovered in nearby Glenford Park early on Monday.

Police are not treating her death as suspicious but are investigating the circumstances.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said it regretted the death of the Belfast youth.

Alliance MLA for Strangford Kieran McCarthy said: “This is deeply tragic news and it will have shocked the whole community in Newtownards. I wish to offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the girl who died.”

DUP MLA Michelle McIlveen added: “Over the last few years I have raised concerns regarding how well we do for our young people in care.

“I recently went out to consultation on a Private Members Bill which looked at the risks for young people who go missing from care and to ask the department to maintain statistics on how often young people run away and to formulate a strategy and action plan to address this.

“They have agreed to do this and I look forward to immediate movement on this. These young people should be our priority.”

A police spokesman confirmed: "A 15-year-old girl was discovered in the Corry Street area of Newtownards shortly after 1am on Monday."

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