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Why did popular teen die?

PUBLISHED: 15:18 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:15 23 August 2010

A JOINT police and social services child protection investigation has begun into the death of a 14-year-old boy found dead in a flat. The body of Edward Barry (inset picture) a pupil at Gravesend Grammar School, Church Walk, Gravesend, was discovered in

A JOINT police and social services child protection investigation has begun into the death of a 14-year-old boy found dead in a flat.

The body of Edward Barry (inset picture) a pupil at Gravesend Grammar School, Church Walk, Gravesend, was discovered in a flat in a terraced house in Parrock Street on Friday morning.

So far, a post mortem examination has found the cause of death to be inconclusive, and police are awaiting results of a toxicology report. Two investigations have now been launched into the circumstances surrounding his death, by both Kent Police, and also a joint police and social services child protection investigation under section 47 of the Children Act 1989. An investigation of this type relates to cases that may involve the neglect or abuse of children.

A joint statement issued on Tuesday said: "We are deeply sorry for the tragic death of this young man.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Our priority is to offer all the support we can to his family and his school.

"The medical evidence? is inconclusive. There are two parallel investigations going on into the circumstances surrounding his death.

"Kent Police are undertaking an investigation. There is also a joint police and social services child protection investigation (under Section 47).

"We cannot therefore comment further on the facts of this case at the present time as this could compromise the investigations.

"Our primary concern is the welfare of the family. We are doing all we can to support the family though this tragedy."

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to the popular 14-year-old, who lived in the Gravesend area, and floral tributes have been left outside the house where his body was discovered.

In a tribute from his parents Patrick and Justine Barry, said: "Our son, Edward Barry, known to his family and friends as Ed, died on Friday 20 November, aged just 14. "Kent Police have launched an investigation into his death and we, as a family, are fully supportive of their actions in doing this. Ed was a very much loved son, brother and friend. He attended Gravesend Grammar School for Boys and will undoubtedly be greatly missed there too. As we come to terms with his death, we would like to ask for the privacy and the time we need to grieve."

One tribute left at the scene reads: "To Ed, I love you always. You were so amazing and everyday I wish that it didn't happen to you. I miss you always, Dominique. X"

Nearly 300 people have left messages on the social networking site Facebook, one group set up called Edward Barry RIP.

Ashleigh "Sparkarh" Henry writes: "Edward Barry. A legend, an amazing friend. A boy. A man. A life that should never have been taken. We really do love you Ed."

Another group has been set up calling for a plaque to be erected in Lord Street car park, where Edward used to skateboard with friends.

Stacey Manley wrote: "Walked Past Lord Street Yesterday I Could Just Imagine You Skating Around There With Your Top Off Like You Used Too!

"Seeing Your Flowers Just Made Things Hit That Your Gone :( Everyone's So Taken By Our Loss! Rest In Peace Edward ! Sleep Tight xxx)

After Edward's body was discovered, police forensic teams remained on site, and officers carried out house to house inquiries.

At about 3pm, Edward's body was carried out and taken away in a private ambulance.

Head-teacher of Gravesend Grammar School Geoff Wybar said teachers and friends of Edward's were told of his death on Monday.

He added: "Students, staff and the whole school community at Gravesend Grammar School were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Edward Barry last Friday. He was an intelligent and sensitive youngster who often showed great levels of maturity.

"Teachers and friends of Edward's were informed of his death on Monday and are being helped to come to terms with this tragedy.

"The thoughts of all involved with the school are with his family in this darkest of times."

Did you know Edward? E-mail your memories and pictures to ed.riley@archant.co.uk or michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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