Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested after medical student found dead in flat

By Donna Deeney and Chris Kilpatrick

A teenage medical student found dead in a flat in Londonderry has been named locally as Kellyanne Teggert.

Ms Teggert had started her first year as a student at the University of Ulster's Magee campus just 12 days before her death yesterday.

Detectives said they were keeping an open mind as to what happened, and a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out today.

A 21-year-old man who lived in the flat at Cromore Gardens in Creggan has been arrested.

An ambulance crew was called to the flat just before 2.30am where they found the 19-year-old unconscious at the foot of a flight of stairs. She was later pronounced dead at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Miss Teggert's family live in Portaferry, Co Down.

Her parents were too distraught to speak to the Belfast Telegraph at their home yesterday afternoon.

But her mother Karen had left a Facebook message on September 14 that read: "Just home from Derry. Left my first born there to go to university. Will miss her but not the tidying up after her. Enjoy the student life but don't forget to learn as well."

Ms Teggert had responded to the messages of support from friends and family: "Thanks guys I intend to enjoy myself!"

Kieran McCarthy MLA said the family was devastated.

"This news has broken the people of the Ards Peninsula," he said.

"We're totally shocked and the community will offer all of its support to the family at this time."

As well as her studies, Miss Teggert also had a part-time job at a bookmakers in Portaferry. A customer said he had spoken to her on Saturday. "She was just a lovely, bubbly wee girl," he said. "I know her father too. It's awful."

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey said Miss Teggert had been at a nightclub in Derry earlier in the evening.

She is understood to have left the club in a taxi at about 1am.

Mr Harvey said: "The death of any young person is always tragic, and I would first of all like to express my condolences to the relatives and friends of the young woman. We are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances of this tragic death."

Residents in the Creggan area were stunned by the news and stood in disbelief as PSNI forensic officers donned white overalls and entered the premises.

As the news filtered through that the young girl was in her first year at Magee, there was a sense of sadness that a girl with her whole life ahead of her had died so suddenly.

Geraldine McLaughlin who lives nearby said: "I have young ones around that age myself and it just doesn't bear thinking about. God help her poor parents whoever they are – it would be your worst nightmare to open the door to that kind of news."

Christopher Simpson, who owns the flat where the dead woman's body was found, said it had been hard to take the news in.

"I am still shaking like a leaf. It is really hard to believe and it is sad. It's her parents I feel sorry for. Her life hadn't really started."

A University of Ulster spokeswoman said: "We are devastated to learn that this was a University of Ulster student and our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and friends at this time."

Quotes

"What we know so far is that shortly before 2.30am, paramedics were called to a flat at Cromore Gardens. They found the young woman unconscious at the foot of some stairs.

"We are trying to establish her movements before 2am. We know that she was in a nightclub in the city centre with friends. We believe she left the nightclub in a taxi at about 1am."

– Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey

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