Entertainment And News

Teen Killed After Traveling To England To Meet Controlling Boyfriend She Had Met Online

Jack Sepple and Ashley Wadsworth traveling

A British man, Jack Sepple, has been arrested in connection with the murder his 19-year-old Canadian Mormon girlfriend, Ashley Wadsworth.

The attack occurred in Chelmsford, Essex around 4 p.m. on Tuesday after several desperate 999 calls from neighbors reporting a disturbance.

Police reportedly found Wadsworth was found brutally stabbed to death with Sepple laying next to her body before he was taken into custody.

Who is Jack Sepple? 

23-year-old Sepple is accused of killing Wadsworth just days before she was due to fly back home to her family in Canada.

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Sepple and Wadsworth are reported to have met online before she traveled to the UK to meet him in person.

Daniel Seaman, a friend that Wadsworth had made during a Mormon volunteer project in Vernon, British Columbia last summer, told a local newspaper that Wadsworth had been having trouble connecting with young men so she went on dating apps to find someone whom she shared values with.

Ashley Wadsworth had been living with Jack Sepple while on her trip. 

Last year, she had met Sepple online and traveled to the U.K. on a six-month tourist visa and planned on traveling home next week, this February 2022.

However, Seaman said that he had an inkling that Sepple didn’t want her to leave him, and that Wadsworth had been reaching out for help.

She started using secret social media accounts to contact her friends, because “her boyfriend didn’t want her to talk with us a lot of the time,” Seaman said.

“She just said that she needed help,” but no one knew just how serious the situation really was.

“Ashley was a ball of energy… she used to have a Facebook account where she posted jokes and memes all day, every single day,” Seaman said. “She was really funny, always laughing and excited, and she always said what was on her mind. Never a dull moment.”

The next time that Seaman had heard about his friend, she was dead, and now her cryptic messages started to make a lot more sense.

“It seemed like when the going got tough she wanted a change in scenery,” Seaman said. “I think the friendships weren’t that deep. She searched the world for connections, and I think that’s how she connected with [her boyfriend].”

Jack Sepple is expected to stand trial in September.

One neighbor, who asked not to be named, said it seemed that Wadsworth had been “the victim of a frenzied attack, but the medics couldn't save her.”

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Sepple appeared in a video hearing this morning and only spoke to confirm his identity at the Chelmsford Crown Court.

He’s been remanded in custody and is due to enter a plea at the same court on March 7, ahead of a provisional trial date set for September 5.

Friends and family have taken to Facebook to express their grief and sorrow at their loss, talking about how full of life she was.

“Ashley was a beautiful young lady and full of love and kindness for all in her life,” said her great aunt Tova Wadsworth. “This was a trip of a lifetime... Nothing of this makes any sense. Her family is heartbroken and struggles to understand.”

“My beautiful sister, you are so amazing, your belief in God was so beautiful,” wrote her sister Hailey. 

Wadsworth had grown skeptical about the Bible and had turned to the Book of Mormon before she converted at 18.

“I'm so happy we were so close and grew up together and spent almost every day of our lives together. I don't think I ever went a day without talking to you,” she continued. “I love you so much. I'll never stop missing you. I keep seeing you and I know you're here watching out for me.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.