Daughter's Death Is Revealed On Facebook

Daughter's Death Is Revealed On Facebook

A mother has lodged an official complaint with police after finding out from Facebook that her daughter had died.

Karla James, 30, collapsed and died at a flat in Tredegar, south Wales on July 23.

But before police called to break the news, her mother Cheryl Jones, 49, saw the Facebook tribute "RIP Karla", posted by her daughter's friends.

Mrs Jones said her nephew rang her to say he had read on the social networking site that her daughter had died.

"I was in a terrible state," she said. "I kept asking my nephew what had happened but he didn't want to tell me. I suppose he wanted to save my feelings in case it wasn't true."

She said that she then called her daughter's mobile phone only to be told by a police officer that someone would be round shortly.

Mrs Jones accepts her daughter, once an aspiring model, had taken drugs including heroin after getting mixed up with the "wrong circles".

The cause of her death remains unknown and an inquest will be held.

An official complaint has now been made to Gwent Police criticising the time it took officers to contact relatives.

But police have also condemned the way Facebook was used to publicise the death.

In a letter to Blaenau Gwent Labour MP Nick Smith, a Gwent police officer wrote: "It is a sad indictment of today's society that an unknown individual made the decision to broadcast such tragic news without consideration for the family.

"I am sure that you understand that the police have no powers to effect or influence an individual's use of any networking site in these circumstances."

A spokesman for Gwent Police has confirmed that it has received a complaint from Mrs Jones.

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