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Grieving friends and family of Gaia Pope remember her with candlelit vigil

Grieving friends and family of Gaia Pope remember her with candlelit vigil
Gaia Pope’s sister Clara is consoled by her cousin Marienna Pope-Weidemann (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Emotional images show the friends and family of Gaia Pope embracing as they held a candlelit vigil a week after her body was found.

The 19-year-old had been reported missing, sparking a massive police search in Dorset, before she was found on land south of Swanage.

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Photographs from the vigil, where her father Richard Sutherland addressed those who gathered, show people placing candles, with scores of lights lined up on the ground.

The amphitheatre in the Prince Albert Gardens in Swanage, was completely illuminated by the time all the candles were placed.

Gaia’s friends and family also held a minute’s silence to remember the teenager.

Grieving friends and family of Gaia Pope remember her with candlelit vigil
Her father Richard Sutherland spoke at the ceremony (Picture: PA)
Grieving friends and family of Gaia Pope remember her with candlelit vigil
Hundreds of candles were placed (Picture: PA)
Grieving friends and family of Gaia Pope remember her with candlelit vigil
The teenager’s body was found a week ago (Picture: PA)

Her cousin Marienna Pope Weidemann said: ‘Gaia has done once again what she did so often in life – she has brought us all closer together.

‘I’ve never known anything like the wave of love and solidarity that came from this community and that I see here today.’

Many mourners placed candles in glass jars near a floral tribute spelling GAIA below a framed picture of her.

More: UK

The teenager, who suffered from severe epilepsy, vanished on November 7, leading to a huge search of the area.

A post-mortem examination did not identify any injuries to suggest third party involvement and police said the death is being treated as unexplained.

Three people had been arrested in connection with her disappearance but were released by police without any further action being taken.

Original Article

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