Leah Hayes died on Saturday after taking a ‘rogue’ batch of ecstasy
A father has paid an emotional tribute to his 15-year-old daughter, who died after taking ecstasy in a car park.
Leah Hayes collapsed in Northallerton on Saturday night and was taken to James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough, where she later died.
Police fear Leah may have taken a ‘rogue’ batch of MDMA and a teenage boy has now been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs.
Leah’s father has left an emotional note at the scene, reading: ‘To my beautiful daughter Leah, I can’t believe you have gone, I still can’t believe it and never will.
‘Fly high and be happy. Until we meet again, you will always be in my thoughts, love you millions babe, hugs and kisses, love DAD xxxxx’.
Police have issued a warning to other youngsters amid fears the teenager may have been poisoned by a rogue batch of the drug.
Police and forensic officers at Applegarth Car Park in Northallerton, North Yorkshire
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: ‘A post mortem is due to be carried out to determine the cause of her death.
‘We believe that Leah had taken the drug MDMA – also known as ecstasy or a ‘bomb’ – prior to collapsing and we reiterate our warning to anyone who uses drugs, of the potential consequences.
‘At this stage, one teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. However, officers have not ruled out making further arrests as the investigation continues.
‘We urge anyone who was in the area at the time or has any information about the events on Saturday night, to come forward and speak to the police if they have not already done so.’
Police were called to a report that the 15-year-old had collapsed at 9.30pm on Saturday
Emergency services were contacted by a passer-by at 9.30pm on Saturday after the teenager collapsed in Applegarth car park, on the edge of the town centre.
Yesterday, residents told how they had previously seen a group of youngsters at the scene ‘dancing and smiling’.
One said: ‘It is just heartbreaking to think something like this has taken her life so soon.’
Northallerton is in the sought-after Hambleton district, an area of rolling hills in between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales which has been ranked one of the best in Yorkshire for quality of life.
Locals said the area bordering the parking area was a known destination for teenagers at night. Included in a cordon set up by police was a set of vandalised park benches and tables where youngsters are known to congregate.
The car park was also taped off for forensic officers conducting fingertip searches.
Enquiries are ongoing to determine if the drug caused her death, and police were seen investigating with sniffer dogs at the car park
Police (pictured at the scene) said that the girl is believed to have taken MDMA – another term for ecstasy
Sniffer dogs were also called in to sweep the area – just yards from a cut-through alley to the town centre. Amid sunny weather yesterday, parents with children packed the play area overlooking the car park.
One mother said: ‘Its absolutely shocking. You expect it in a big city but not in a quiet town like this. The park has always been a place for kids to hang about, drink and smoke. But we never dreamed they were doing drugs as well.’
North Yorkshire Police said its officers and ambulance services attended the scene and the girl was taken to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, but later died.
A spokesman said that the girl is believed to have taken MDMA – another term for ecstasy – and inquiries are ongoing to determine whether taking the drug led to her death.
He added that officers are issuing a warning to anyone who has recently purchased the same batch of drugs to be ‘cautious and aware of the potential consequences’ of taking it.
North Yorkshire Police said its officers and ambulance services attended the scene and the girl was taken to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, but later died