Police are scouring messages posted on social media websites by Halesowen schoolgirl Christina Edkins to help build up a picture of her life.
Meanwhile, the community were trying to come to terms with her tragic death.
Christina was a prolific user of Twitter and met many friends online from across the country, including Bristol. Her last tweet, made hours before her death, said she just needed “someone to be lazy with me and watch films and make me laugh”.
Like most teenage girls, she had swapped messages with friends online, talking about her hair and exams, and looking forward to her future. Those who knew her said she hoped to become a nurse.
Detectives have confirmed they were looking at Christina’s social media website as part of their investigation. Among her messages is one sent a month ago, in which she describes a man acting strangely on a bus on which she was travelling.
Today, tributes to the teenager were pouring in to social media websites, while Halesowen ward councillors voiced their sadness in response to the tragedy. One friend wrote: “Worst things always happen to the best people”, while another called Olly Riley wrote: “RIP @ChristinaEdkins we will never ever forget you, remember our promise up there okay! I won’t break it.”
Members of the community have spoken of their shock, anger and sadness as friends and school leaders reacted to the death of the 16-year-old girl who was stabbed on her way to school.
She was attacked while travelling on the number nine service yesterday at 7.37am and suffered a single stab wound to her chest.
The driver called police and paramedics, but despite efforts by the emergency services to resuscitate the teenager, Christina was pronounced dead at the scene.
St Peter’s Church, in Lapal, near Leasowes High School, where she was a pupil, has opened a book of condolence for Christina and invited anyone who wishes to come in to sign it.
The Rev Mike Rutter, vicar of St Peter’s, said the church would be open from 8am until 9pm today and through the weekend for mourners. He said: “It’s a terrible tragedy, and many in our community will be affected. We are ensuring St Peter’s Church in Lapal is open to enable anyone who wishes to come in, say a prayer, light a candle and sign a book of condolence.”
A Facebook page called RIP Christina Edkins was “liked” by more than 50,000 users who also added their own comments following her death.
Halesowen South councillor Alan Taylor said: “I think it’s shocking how in this age a girl cannot get to school safely anymore – we never used to hear about things like this in the area, but now we are hearing more and more.”
Halesowen MP James Morris said today: “I am going to meet National Express to discuss how we can make sure buses are safe.” Leasowes High School principal Neil Shaw said: “We are trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of Christina and we extend our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to her family and friends.
“Christina was a bright and much loved student who will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Educational psychologists and counsellors are in school providing support to students, parents and staff and we will continue to work closely with the police. We would like to thank everyone for the many offers of support and warm words of condolence, which means so much at this difficult time.”
Collections for Christina’s family are being organised at Asda in Smethwick, Merry Hill and Halesowen as well as Mollies Baguette Bar, in London Derry Road, Oldbury.