Charleigh Disbrey and Mert Karaoglan
A girl of 15 and her Turkish sweetheart ran hand in
hand into the path of a high-speed train because
they feared his family disapproved of their
Charleigh Disbrey and Mert Karaoglan, 18, had been
together only a month but chose to die together
rather than be forced apart by ‘cultural issues’. Mert
sent a picture message to a friend of the pair on a
bridge over the railway line, saying they would
‘never be together in this life and would rather be
together in a different place’.
They then climbed a 6ft fence to get on to the tracks
at the busy Elstree and Borehamwood station in
Hertfordshire.The driver of an empty London First
Capital Connect train saw them running down the
line but was unable to avoid hitting them. According
to an inquest, they died of multiple massive injuries.
Graham Danbury, Hertfordshire’s deputy coroner,
told the hearing: ‘Because of Mert’s background it
seems like a relationship between him and Charleigh
would not have been approved by his family.
And it seems to me that such was the intensity of
their feelings for each other that they ignored the
effect that their acts would have on others – their
family, their friends and the train driver – and
decided that they wanted to be together in death.’
The young lovers attended Hertswood Academy near
their Borehamwood homes. Charleigh, who was
studying for her GCSEs, had auditioned for the TV
shows Britain’s Got Talent and Must Be The Music.
She had posted videos of herself on YouTube
playing an acoustic guitar and had written on her
website that she wanted to become a musician ‘to
be remembered’. Mert, who was said to be a
talented film-maker and photographer, was studying
for his A-levels.
The inquest heard Charleigh had taken overdoses
and had expressed suicidal tendencies in the month
leading up to her death on June 17 last year.
In a statement, Mert’s father Sukru Karaoglan, 49,
told the inquest: ‘Mert got up earlier than usual and
went straight out to school without breakfast or
speaking to the family.
‘He didn’t get home until after 5 o’clock, got
changed and said he was going to meet some
friends.’ He was asked to stay to have a meal with
the family and joined them for a short while before
insisting he had to go. ‘That was the last time the
father saw him,’ said Dr Danbury.
Mert’s friend, Harry Whitlock, told the inquest he had
seemed normal at school that day. At around 7pm
he received the picture of the pair on the bridge and
a text moments before they died at around 9pm
saying: ‘Find my phone. Find the video. I love you.’
Dr Danbury said: ‘In one of these [videos] they gave
some explanation of what they were about to do,
which was to end their lives and they referred to
family and cultural problems and they felt that they
weren’t going to be able to be together in this life
and they would rather be together in a different
Harry told the hearing he was at the cinema at the
time he received the messages from Mert and was
later told by a friend of the tragic deaths. He said
the last picture on the bridge ‘was just them two
together, just smiling’.
Another friend, Christopher Walker, said he last saw
Mert at 1pm on the day of his death and was told he
would be sent some internet passwords.
He added: ‘He told me he had met his soulmate. I
think this meant the girl I know he had been seeing
for the last month. He was happy. He gave me a big
hug, and left.’
Charleigh, known as CJ, also sent a number of texts
before her death saying sorry and telling them she
loved them. In one, she wrote: ‘I have met the most
amazing person – he is my life.’
There was no answer at the flat where Mert lived
with his family. Neighbours said they returned to
Turkey earlier this year and Mr Karaoglan had made
occasional trips back.
Dr Danbury recorded verdicts of suicide at the
hearing in Hatfield.
Culled from DailyMail
Monday, 29 September 2014
Why two teenage lovers took their lives
Charleigh Disbrey and Mert Karaoglan