Jeni Larmrour was one of four young people who died over the weekend. All four deaths are thought to be related to drug use.
Jeni Larmour (18), from Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, was pronounced dead at her Newcastle University accommodation in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne after being found unconscious. Her death is believed to be linked to "class B" drugs.
Larmour was discovered in her dorm unresponsive at 6 am on Saturday. It is thought that she had taken ketamine. A second unnamed student was found at 1 pm on Sunday. It is not known if the two women were in the same household.
According to other students, drugs are readily available for order via the social media platforms Snapchat and WhatsApp. There were also rumors that a rogue batch of pills were circulating on campus.
Nearby, in Washington, an 18-year-old man and a 21-year-old man, a student of Northumbria University allegedly died having taken MDMA.
Northumbria Police said on Tuesday that 11 arrests had been made in relation to these deaths. "A number of arrests were made over the weekend, with 3 men aged 18 - 21 released on bail," the police force said on Twitter. "7 others were arrested & released under investigation & today we confirmed a 30 yo man had been arrested on suspicion of possession w/intent to supply Class A drugs."
A number of arrests were made over the weekend, with 3 men aged 18 - 21 released on bail. 7 others were arrested & released under investigation & today we confirmed a 30 yo man had been arrested on suspicion of possession w/intent to supply Class A drugs.— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) October 6, 2020
The Northumbria Police force additionally issued this statement, urging people to not take drugs:
⚠️ Police are issuing an urgent drugs warning following the tragic deaths of four young people over the weekend.
Read the full update below 👇 pic.twitter.com/uPvQcx8XHP— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) October 4, 2020
A large scale investigation is underway, including searching student accommodation with drug dogs as well as spreading urgent warnings among the public about the dangers of these drugs.
Chief Inspector Steve Wykes said: “This weekend we have seen the tragic loss of four young lives and our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of those who have sadly died.
“Although our investigations are at an early stage and we continue to establish the circumstances around these tragedies, we want to reiterate our warning to people against taking drugs for recreational use.
“The consequences could cost you your life."
"My beautiful princess, my best friend"
The teen's mother issued a brief tribute to her daughter on social media which read: "My beautiful princess, my best friend."
Larmour had moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in August to start her studies in architecture and urban planning at Newcastle University. She was just two weeks into her university career when she tragically died.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Graham Montgomery, the Headmaster of her former school, Armagh Royal School, called Larmour "a model student."
The teen held roles in the cadet force, chamber choir, and school council. During her final year, she had been "head girl" at the school.
“Jeni threw herself enthusiastically into school life," Montgomery said.
“Jeni was a spirited and independently minded girl with clear views, which she was happy to articulate in a respectful manner, and she was possessed of a well-developed sense of justice.
“We have no doubt, that given her academic ability and personality, Jeni had a bright future ahead of her and we are saddened that has been so suddenly cut short. We extend to her many friends, her family, brother, and parents our sincerest sympathy at this tragic time and assure them of our prayers and practical support.”
Tributes pour in
Newry and Armagh Democratic Unionist Party William Irwin said “This is very tragic news and I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Jeni Larmour at what is a very distressing time for them all.
“For a young lady full of life to have started on this educational journey in Newcastle University and for it to so sadly end in these tragic circumstances is beyond words.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Jeni’s family and friends as they try to come to terms with her very sudden and untimely passing.”
Larmour's mother works for Ulster Carpets, a manufacturer in County Armagh. The company released a statement that read: Her colleagues are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of her daughter Jeni and the Company will support Sandra in whatever way we can.”