Cork homesick teenager died in suicide pact

Thursday, March 01, 2001
A Cork teenager who gassed herself in a suicide pact with a lifelong friend had admitted to her mother she was homesick, an inquest has heard.

Jennifer Prinn, 17, made the revelation in an e-mail just four days before she died.

She was found dead with her friend Elizabeth Gold, 16, in a car at a friend's house in Crawley, West Sussex, with Ms Gold's favourite teddy bear and a duvet sandwiched between them.

The pair grew up together in Pretoria, South Africa, but parted when their parents emigrated to Ireland and and England respectively.

An inquest heard that Ms Gold, who suffered depression after she left South Africa, had tried to kill herself with a paracetamol overdose just 10 days before she was found in the gas-filled car. She had spoken to friends of killing herself by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The inquest at Crawley Hospital heard that Ms Prinn had disappeared from her home in Ballincollig, Co Cork, on December 4 last year without telling her parents that she was going to visit Ms Gold in Crawley.

David Kimp, deputy coroner for West Sussex, said he had no doubt that the girls had intended to kill themselves together. He recorded a verdict of suicide for both girls due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

He said: "I think it's tragic for the families that two young ladies with everything, so much potential, found there were no answers for them in this life apart from taking their lives."

She e-mailed her mother on December 6 saying that she was depressed and had to get away for a while. The pair were found by a friend in his parent's garage after a party on December 9.