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British teen 'left suicide note'

A British teenager and her American boyfriend suspected of the fatal shooting of a US police officer both left what appear to be suicide notes before they were found dead.

US police officials said notes apparently written by 17-year-old Alexandria Hollinghurst - originally from the UK - and Brandon Goode, 18, were recovered before the pair were found dead in undergrowth in Florida on Saturday.

Orange County Sheriff's Office said the couple had been reported as "missing endangered due to the suicidal notes" in the hours before the shooting.

The police force said both teenagers are considered suspects in the killing of Officer Robert German, found by colleagues in an Orlando suburb.

The sheriff's office said the pair's vehicle was recovered today from the car park of a bank in the Kissimmee area of the city, several miles from where the couple are believed to have crossed Officer German's path.

Detectives said they would examine the vehicle for further clues.

A police spokesman said: "Goode and Hollinghurst are now officially considered suspects in the homicide of Officer Robert German.

"While Goode and Hollinghurst died of what is believed to be gunshot wounds from apparent suicide, we are awaiting the medical examiner's findings for the exact cause of death.

"In addition, the Orange County Sheriff's Office has been given suicide notes written by both individuals. The contents of those notes will not be revealed at this time as the investigation is active and open."

The sheriff's office said Windermere Police Department Officer German had reported stopping "two individuals" on foot at 3.57am, and had then radioed for back-up.

When colleagues arrived they discovered Officer German "mortally wounded" with a gunshot injury and he was later pronounced dead at Orlando Regional Medical Centre.

At the same time, gunshots were heard nearby and the bodies of Hollinghurst and Goode were discovered a short distance away, police said.

In the UK a former classmate and the head teacher of Hollinghurst's old school paid tributes to the teenager, who lived in Derbyshire with her family until emigrating to the United States six years ago.

Andrew Cartledge, head of St Andrew's Church of England Junior School in Hadfield, said: "Alex Hollinghurst was a pupil at St. Andrew's until she was 11 years old. She was a talented pupil who it was a pleasure to have in school.

"Alex was sociable with many friends and an outgoing personality. Our thoughts are with her family at this tragic time."

Grace Etchells, a former classmates at St Andrew's near Glossop, paid tribute to her friend.

Writing on Twitter, she said: "So horrible knowing a very close friend from primary Alex Hollinghurst sadly got taken from us in such horrific circumstances. RIP lovely xx."

She added: "I knew Alex from primary school, up until about six years ago. That is when Alex, Hannah (her younger sister) and her mum and dad left for the USA.

"We were classmates for about three years. She was a great girl - she had zero flaws."

In the village of Hadfield, where Hollinghurst, her parents and sister lived, former neighbours spoke of their shock.

Locals said Hannah is two or three years younger, and they had an older stepsister, Georgia, who is about 25 or 26 but did not live with the family.

The girls' parents were known as Tom and Debra Jane, or just Jane.

The occupant of their old house, an end-terrace, said the property was repossessed and the family moved to the US, with letters arriving for them always addressed to Tom or Jane.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said Mr Hollinghurst was involved in a concrete or building business before they emigrated.

She added: "I'm really shocked, I hadn't heard anything about this."

Another neighbour was visibly shaken, saying: "I'm too shocked to talk at the moment. I can't believe what's happened."


From Belfast Telegraph