Mormon Teen Murdered After Flying Overseas To Meet Online Boyfriend
A 19-year-old Canadian woman was killed two months into a trip to see a man she met online.
Ashley Wadsworth was on an adventure to Chelmsford, Essex, England, to spend some time with a boyfriend she met online via mutual friend, but the trip took a horrific turn when she was murdered on Feb 1.
Police responded to the apartment of Jack Sepple, 23, after the neighbors reported a disturbance around 4 p.m., and they found the young woman from Vernon, British Columbia, bleeding in the bed from multiple stab wounds to the chest.
Sepple was reportedly laying next to her playing on his phone when authorities arrived, according to the Vancouver Sun. Paramedics were unable to save Wadsworth’s life.
While Wadsworth’s social media accounts showed her and Sepple smiling as they visited popular London tourist spots, her friends said there were signs that Wadsworth was experiencing some type of domestic abuse.
Wadsworth—who was a recent convert to Mormonism and a member of the Métis Nation, a Canadian indigenous people group—arrived in England in November 2021 on a six month tourist visa, but was reportedly planning to return to Canada mid February. A friend of Wadsworth’s told The Daily Beast that she had begun communicating with friends via secret social media accounts that Sepple didn’t have access to.
Just before her murder, Wadsworth reportedly contacted friends and asked them to reach out to her church for help. She was not specific about what the problem was or what kind of help was needed, according to Global News. Additionally, she sent the text when it was nighttime in British Columbia, which kept her friends from seeing the text for several hours.
Later that day, Wadsworth family got news that she had been killed.
A Chemlsford neighbor organized a vigil for the young woman, according to the BBC. More than 100 people attended, including Wadsworth’s sister. Mourners left flowers near the apartment where Wadsworth was killed, and ministers from the towns churches came to offer prayers for her and her family.
A GoFundMe was started to help Wadsworth’s family move her body back to British Columbia for burial. According to the fundraising campaign, Wadsworth had a “spontanous and witty personality” and had been a top notch student in school with dreams of becoming a lawyer. The adventurous young woman was fluent in three languages and loved to travel.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence or abuse from a romantic partner, you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, call 1.800.799.SAFE or text START to 88788 for help. Advocates are available 24/7 to help callers talk through their situation and connect them with local resources. There is no charge to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.