Teen's murder shatters Lockyer Valley community

UPDATE 2PM: The death of Jayde Kendall has shocked a close-knit, quiet country town.

Murmurs of disbelief flowed at the memorial at Lockyer District High School where hundreds paid tribute to the slain teen.

Grantham resident Amy De Martino, 18, said it was incomprehensible something so savage could strike her hometown region.

Ms De Martino said the community had been rocked with the thought a murderer had walked amongst them for almost two weeks.

Tributes to Jayde Kendall at Lockyer District State High School.
Tributes to Jayde Kendall at Lockyer District State High School. Bev Lacey

LATEST: Jayde Kendall's classmates pay tribute to murdered teen

"It's the shock of waking up and knowing it is so close to home," she said after laying flowers at Jayde's memorial.

"I could never have thought something like that could happen.

"It really hit home, especially because nothing like this has ever happened in Gatton before."

She said Gatton was not known for murder or sinister actions, but was a peaceful and supportive community.

The Lockyer Valley District High School, at Gatton where Jayde's friends and fellow students have set up a memorial.
The Lockyer Valley District High School, at Gatton where Jayde's friends and fellow students have set up a memorial. Bev Lacey

LATEST: Community grieving over teen's murder: Lockyer mayor

"We just never thought that it could happen," she said.

"Even Brenden, Jayde knew him and it's such a shock … yeah, just how could it happen?

"The big thing, the big question, is why Jayde? Why Gatton?

"Yeah, it's just the why."

She said Gatton was a community "known to be together".

RELATED

  10AM: Forensic investigators have returned to the scene where the body of murdered schoolgirl Jayde Kendall was found.

An exclusion zone on Allens Rd at Upper Tenthill, 17km south of Gatton, has been extended while detectives continue their investigations.

The 16-year-old's body was found near the crest of a hill in an area bordered by agricultural land.

Police have extended the exclusion zone around the area where Jayde Kendall's body was found.
Police have extended the exclusion zone around the area where Jayde Kendall's body was found.
Police have blocked off all access to the area.

The Department of Education will at 11am hold a press conference outside Lockyer District State High School where Jayde was last seen alive.

Darling Downs and South West regional director Greg Dickman said the school community was "deeply saddened and shocked" by Jayde's death.

"She was a popular, well-liked student who will be greatly missed by all her friends and teachers," he said.

Lockyer District High School pays tribute to student Jayde Kendall whose body was found by police yesterday morning.
Lockyer District High School pays tribute to student Jayde Kendall whose body was found by police yesterday morning. ABC News: Kristina Harazim

"Our thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to Jayde's family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.

"Support is being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at the school to provide support in any way they can and for as long as it is needed."

Darling Downs and South West regional director Greg Dickman speaks to media about the death of Jayde Kendall.
Darling Downs and South West regional director Greg Dickman speaks to media about the death of Jayde Kendall. Contributed

6AM: The man accused of killing Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall will appear in a Brisbane court this morning.

Brenden Bennetts, 18, who owned the car Jayde was last seen getting into on August 14, was arrested yesterday evening and later formally charged with murder and misconduct with a corpse by interfering.

His lawyer has reportedly indicated that Bennetts intended to plead not guilty.

Brenden Bennetts has been charged with murder and misconduct with a corpse by interfering.
Brenden Bennetts has been charged with murder and misconduct with a corpse by interfering. Contributed

Tributes for Ms Kendall have been flowing online since her death was confirmed.

The Help Find Jayde Facebook page posted: "Jayde impacted on the lives of all those who knew her because of her generous nature and kind soul.

"In light of this, today, Friday August 28, the community is encouraged to wear purple (Jayde's favourite colour) in memory of Jayde.

"If you don't have any purple attire to wear, simply wear something special - maybe a new piece of jewellery, new tie, new perfume or outfit ‪#‎WearPurpleForJayde‬."

Bennetts was school friends with Ms Kendall and posted an appeal for her on his Facebook page.

Jayde Kendall and Brenden Bennetts (right) were friends from high school.
Jayde Kendall and Brenden Bennetts (right) were friends from high school. Contributed

THURSDAY 8.30PM: The body of missing Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall has been found in scrubland in the Lockyer Valley.

Police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old man with her murder and misconduct with a corpse by interfering.

He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Jayde's body was discovered in on Allens Rd about 9.30am after police received a critical tip  via Crime Stoppers.

Acting Detective Inspector Matt Howard said closure for Jayde's family, and the community, would not have been possible without that information.

Acting Detective Inspector Matt Howard on the scene at Allens Road, Upper Tenthill, near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall's body was found.
Acting Detective Inspector Matt Howard on the scene at Allens Road, Upper Tenthill, near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall's body was found. Nev Madsen

Det. Insp. Howard said the public and the red car, and the movements of the vehicle over the past 13 days, had proved critical to the investigation.

"It is definitely a vital piece of evidence," he said.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, without public assistance, we may not be standing here today.

"Members of the community, the information was invauable to us, and the family would also like to express their gratitude to you.

The scene at Allens Road Upper Tent Hill near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendal's body was found . Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle
The scene at Allens Road Upper Tent Hill near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendal's body was found . Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle Nev Madsen

"Without your assistance, we would not be standing here today."

He said police immediately searched the area identified by the Crime Stoppers caller, and a crime scene established about 9.30am.

Jayde's family was notified soon after.

Det. Insp. Howard called for the community to respect the family's privacy at this time.

The scene at Allens Road Upper Tent Hill near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendal's body was found . Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle
The scene at Allens Road Upper Tent Hill near where Gatton teenager Jayde Kendal's body was found . Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle Nev Madsen

While investigations are continuing, he said further charges were not expected to be laid over the teenager's murder.

"It has been a very complex investigation," he said.

"It has been hard on investigators and obviously family, but it lead us to this result.

"There are no winners in this investigation, but we've ended up with the result and arrested a male person who has been charged.

"At this stage there is nothing to suggest the male person wasn't acting alone."

Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall.
Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall.

[6:45 PM:] Body confirmed to be that of Jayde Kendall

 POLICE have confirmed the body found near Gatton this afternoon is that of teenager Jayde Kendall.

Police have arrested the 18-year old man who has been a person of interest during the two week investigation.

Charges will be laid tonight against him.

She was picked up from her school by an 18-year-old man.

Detective Acting Inspector Matt Howard said Jayde's family has asked for privacy.

Contributed: Twitter

6:00 PM: The body of a teenage girl has been found outside Gatton near where 16-year-old Jayde Kendall disappeared almost two weeks ago.

Police have not confirmed the person's identity.

There are reports Jayde's family has been notified of the discovery.

A man is currently in custody and assisting police with their inquiries.

Police are set to hold a media conference at 6:30pm about the discovery.

EARLIER: Police have established a crime scene near Gatton this afternoon.  

It is not yet known if the scene is linked to the disappearance of 16-year-old Jayde Kendall.  

Police have blocked access to Allens Road at Tenthill, a farming area 15 km from Gatton.  

A witness told Fairfax Media police cars had been "coming and going all day" from the area.

More to come.  

 

Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall.
Gatton teenager Jayde Kendall. Contributed

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