A Canadian teen slain during an overseas trip to meet her English boyfriend for the first time after connecting online was planning to cut her trip short amid trouble in the relationship, a friend says.
Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was discovered fatally stabbed Tuesday afternoon in his Chelmsford, England, flat. She was visiting the city – about 40 miles northeast of London – to stay with Jack Sepple, 23, who is now charged with her murder.
Wadsworth, who converted to the Church of the Latter-day Saints at age 18, was described by fellow churchgoer Daniel Seaman as a ‘woman of great faith’ who ‘even wanted to share her faith her her boyfriend.’
Her friend Ana-Marie Taylor told DailyMail.com that Wadsworth initially planned to stay with Sepple until April after arriving in November, but recently changed her mind and was set to return Thursday.
‘She cut it short because things were not going too great,’ Taylor said, who added: ‘She really did love him. Things were amazing at first.’
Taylor said she was not aware of any abuse in the relationship, nor did she elaborate on why their relationship began crumbling. She said the couple met online in 2020; according to other reports, this was the first time they met in person.
Ashley Wadsworth, 19, flew from Canada to England last November to meet her 23-year-old online boyfriend Jack Sepple (pictured together in a photo posted to Facebook on January 30)
Wadsworth was fatally stabbed inside a Chelmsford, England flat on Tuesday, just days before she was set to return home to Vernon, British Columbia. The couple is pictured in London on January 11, 2022
The victim from the small town of Vernon, British Columbia, is now being remembered by loved ones back in Canada.
‘Ashley was a beautiful, smart, caring young lady,’ her cousin, Amanda Wadsworth, told DailyMail.com. ‘She was on what should have been the trip of a lifetime and was taken from us far too soon.
‘My cousin was a beautiful, kind, loving young lady that did not deserve this.’
She refused to comment on Sepple, saying: ‘I’m not interested in talking about him.’
Wadsworth, who was Mormon, documented her trip across the pond on Facebook, and just days before her death shared a selfie of she and Sepple smiling for the camera.
‘She really did love him,’ a friend of Wadworth said. ‘Things were amazing at first’
Sepple is depicted in a court sketch during a court appearance at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on February 3, 2022
Sepple, who wore a grey sweater and pants during his appearance, was remained into custody
Her boyfriend appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court Thursday wearing a gray jumper and trousers and was remanded in custody after being charged with murder.
He’ll next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.
Wadsworth was described by fellow churchgoer Daniel Seaman as a ‘woman of great faith’ who ‘even wanted to share her faith her her boyfriend’.
The teenager, who had never left Canada before but was said to have wanted to escape ‘small town life’, had flown to the UK on a six-month tourist visa on November 12 to stay with Sepple.
The couple met on an online dating app in 2020, a friend said. They met in person for the first time after she flew to England
During her trip to the UK, Wadsworth visited dozens of tourist hotspots including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in London
Her best friend, MacKenzie Palm, shared a moving tribute to the victim on Facebook.
‘I wish I could remind you one last time that I love you. but instead I feel like writing this out and sharing it, is kind of like sending a prayer out to you to remind you how much you mean to me,’ Palm wrote.
‘Since grade 7, you were my best friend, my family and my rock. we went through so many phases together, we did so many silly things together. we made so many memories.
‘… I hope heaven is everything you read about in church and more. and Ashley just know, I love you.’
Her sister Hailey shared a photo of them together captioned ‘our angel.’ Hailey on another posted vowed to ‘get justice’ for her slain sister.
‘My poor baby sister we will get justice baby girl,’ she wrote. ‘I love you so much I miss u everyday ur big sissy loves u.’
Her sister Hailey paid tribute on Facebook with a caption that reads ‘my angel’
She on another post vowed to ‘get justice’ for her slain younger sister, who recently converted to Mormonism
Wadsworth flew to the UK from Vernon, a city around 270 miles northeast of Vancouver with a population of about 43,000, according to its authority’s website.
The city is surrounded by three lakes and provides’ an exceptional quality of life with a mix of urban amenities, world class resorts, amazing recreational opportunities’.
Mormons have been present in British Columbia since 1872 and around 31,000 residents of the province are served by its Langley temple.
During her trip to the UK, Wadsworth visited dozens of tourist hotspots including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in London.
She also joined Sepple’s family for a trip to the historic town of Rye in East Sussex.
Her step mother Charmaine Wadsworth told CBC News today: ‘We are just remembering how strong, smart and witty Ashleigh was – how kind she was and how she was always 10 steps ahead of all of us.
‘She will be dearly missed by each and every one of us.’