Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Heartfelt letter to 'suicide pact' girl from sister she never got to meet

The letter in tribute to Alexandra O'Brien is left near the scene of her death
The letter in tribute to Alexandra O'Brien is left near the scene of her death
Alexandra O'Brien
Alexandra O'Brien

A poignant letter left at the scene where a young woman took her own life has paid tribute to a sister the writer apparently never got to meet.

The letter, which hints at details of Alexandra O'Brien's background, appeared in Londonderry just days after the 21-year-old's body was recovered from the waters of the River Foyle.

Ms O'Brien is feared to have died in a suicide pact last Wednesday with Dublin teenager Keiran McKeon (18), who travelled with her to Derry from a Dublin hospital.

The heartbreaking letter, which has not been verified, and bouquet of flowers were found taped to the lamp standard close to the scene of Alexandra's death on Monday.

The tribute was addressed to "my Alyx, my wee sis" and was signed: "Your big sis Cella".

"From birth when we were separated and there was nothing we could do about it. But there was always a desire burning a hole in my heart aching for you," the letter read.

"I wanted to protect you, love you, be that big sister and comfort you. Now I will never get that chance and it breaks my heart. My dreams are shattered. We sent our letters backwards and forwards but here I am writing this letter that will never get a reply."

It continued: "I can't but wonder what if they just let us have our contact. We didn't even get a proper hello and here we are saying goodbye. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way.

"I will never hear your voice again and it kills me. I know you are an angel now.

"Please watch over me and your baby niece. I know you would have loved her as much as I do."

Meanwhile, the search for Mr McKeon entered its sixth day on Tuesday, but was on Monday extended to include a second man.

It is understood there were two calls to the police within a few minutes of each other on Monday morning.

Initially it had been thought that two people had entered the river.

However, one of the men was found safe and well a short time later.

The search for the second man, said to have been wearing a black hoodie and carrying a black rucksack, and Mr McKeon, is ongoing.

Foyle Search And Rescue chairman Craig Smyth confirmed it was now searching for two people on the river.

"This is obviously a worry," he said.

"We were actually on the river searching for Kieran when we received the report, but apparently eyewitnesses reported that the man sank very quickly."

A spokesman for the PSNI confirmed: "Police are attending the report of a body in the water in the River Foyle.

"Searches of the river are being carried out."

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