Village unites in grief

Village unites in grief

Villagers in Bowerchalke and Broad Chalke were devastated and united in grief at the news of a local student found hanging in a field barn in the latest of what is thought to a spate of young suicides.

Described by one villager as ‘lovely’, 21-year-old Elsa Scaburri, who had lived in the village for 18 years, is thought to be the fifth student across the region to take their own lives in the past six months.

Elsa was found at Knowle Farm, Bowerchalke close to her home in Bull’s Lane, Broad Chalke, after emergency services dashed to the scene.

A woman at Knowle Farm confirmed: ”It was here – she was a lovely girl – we knew her.”

Wiltshire Police stressed her death was not being treated as suspicious, and the university said: ”We understand from her family Elsa took her own life, although it will be a matter for the Coroner. Elsa was half way through a year abroad, as part of her French and Italian degree.

Mother Belinda was too distraught to talk about the tragedy, but neighbour Jean Elton, 83, said:”It has upset us all terribly. We are all very shocked. She was not well – she was depressed for some time, but I have no idea why. She was a bright and outward-going when she was well.”

Villager Jessica Dennes added: ”It is all so tragic.”

Robert Hitchings – vice Chair of Broad Chalke Parish Council – said: ”The village is devastated by this news – we are a very close-knit community. We are feeling it deeply, all very sad. It is such a waste. It is very sad when something like this happens.”

An inquest in Salisbury on March 20 was told student Elsa, 21, was found hanging and confirmed deceased at the scene. No cause of death was given and toxicology tests were ordered.

She was found by the owner of the farm and identified by her father, Paolo. The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

The other ‘suicides’ have all taken place since the beginning of the academic year.


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