A 20-year-old woman found dead in the woods was one of four people who took their own lives after joining a WhatsApp suicide group chat.
Amy Springer, who was found in woods near Portslade cricket club in Benfield Valley, Brighton and Hove, was part of the social media group discussing methods of suicide, an inquest heard.
She had been in touch with people who discussed self-harm via the mobile messaging app prior to her body being found on March 21.
The inquest also heard of how three other people connected to the group had ended their lives through suicide.
Brighton coroner Dr Karen Henderson said despite having several diagnoses, including autism, emotionally unstable personality disorder and complex PTSD, Amy Springer was believed to have been doing better in the weeks before her death.
Dr Henderson said it was in spite of the best efforts of her family and support staff at her home in Hove that she could not get out of a pattern of behaviour which included self-harm and frequent disappearances.
The young woman had been reported missing 15 times in 2020 and three times in 2021 and had also committed self-harm on several of these occasions.
Argus/Sussex News and Pictures)
She was reported missing from her supported living accommodation on Friday, March 19 of this year, with officers from Sussex Police carrying out a search of her bedroom but finding no clues to Amy’s whereabouts.
Police said there was also nothing to suggest what her intentions were.
Her cause of death was given as asphyxiation.
Coroner Dr Karen Henderson described her death as a tragedy.
Amy had suffered from severe trauma stemming from her childhood and the death of her older brother David at the age of six.
“She was no doubt deeply loved,” Dr Henderson said.
“But throughout her life she suffered many difficulties and challenges that had a considerable impact on her ability to navigate her teenage years and the early years of adulthood.
“In the background was a very severe and life-limiting trauma from her childhood.”
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