HUNDREDS of wellwishers braved the cold yesterday in South Yorkshire today to pay their last respects to a teenage girl found stabbed to death.
The body of hair and beauty student Leonne Weeks, 16, was discovered on an isolated public footpath in her home town of Dinnington, on January 16.
Mourners walked behind a horse and carriage as it carried her coffin to the funeral service.
They walked slowly in silence from her home to St Leonard’s Church as a white horse-drawn carriage carried Leonne’s pink coffin - with her name and a number of love hearts inscribed into the side - to her final resting place.
A line of young girls carried a wreath with the words, ‘Best Friend’ behind the coffin as people embraced one another while one woman carried a single rose.
A lorry load of flowers drove up and parked outside the Church with the words, ‘Dad’s Princess’ and a picture of the teen, as members of her family, including her twin brother Levi and sister Millie, entered the church to pay their respects.
One handwritten note on flowers laid on the open-backed lorry read: “Fly high our beautiful sister. RIP you will always be in our hearts and we love you very much forever and always.
Leonne’s family, including her mother, Paula Oldfield, and father, Darran, released a statement in tribute to their daughter as they celebrated her life and mourned her death during the funeral.
The statement read: “Today, we are laying our beautiful daughter Leonne to rest and celebrating her life with family and friends.
“She is loved and sadly missed by all her family. Leonne was a twin and was close to all of her brothers and sisters.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support shown by the community and other groups which have links to the family.
“As a family we would appreciate that our privacy is respected as we mourn the loss of Leonne.”
Shea Heeley, 18, has been charged with the teenager’s murder and is due to appear at court on 17 February.
A post-mortem examination found Leonne had died as a result of multiple stab wounds.