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Police confirm “possible link to drugs” after death of 15-year-old girl in Portadown

Police say 'large number of young people' at Corcrain and appeal for information

Police investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl in Portadown have confirmed they are investigating “a possible link to drugs”.

The girl, a pupil of Craigavon Senior High School, died in Craigavon Area Hospital, it has emerged.

Officers were called to woodland in the Corcrain area at around 6pm on Saturday.

There they found the teenage girl unconscious.

Police, in a statement released this afternoon (Sunday), say an ambulance was called and the girl was taken to nearby Craigavon Area Hospital, but she died a short time later.

Chief Inspector Joe McMinn, the PSNI’s Area Commander, said the investigation was ongoing.

But, in a statement, he confirmed: “At this early stage of the investigation, one of our lines of enquiry is a possible link to drugs.

“A post mortem examination will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

“There were a large number of young people in the Corcrain area when police arrived and we are appealing to anyone who was in that area yesterday and who has any information which could help us with our enquiries to contact police on 101 quoting reference 994 of 20/05/17.”

News of the death has shocked local people and classmates at Craigavon Senior High School, where she had been a pupil, are to be offered counselling.

Assistant principal Hilary Woods said the school would be writing to parents and informing them of the tragic loss and what was being made available to help other pupils who may have been affected.

“The school has implemented a plan which will give pupils the opportunity to talk through their thoughts and feelings with trained staff from the Education Authority critical incident response team,” she told BBC NI.

“A letter will be sent by the school to parents, informing them of this tragic incident and providing information on the support services available through the school.

“Given that GCSE examinations are continuing, we will endeavour to keep the school operating as normally as possible under the circumstances.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the pupil’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

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