TW: violence, transphobia.
16-year-old Brianna Ghey was “strong, fearless and one of a kind”, her devastated family have said.
Two teens, both aged 15, have been arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey.
Brianna’s body was discovered laid out with stab wounds in Linear Park in Culcheth, Cheshire, by members of the public at around 3.13pm on Saturday.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, Cheshire Constabulary said.
The two arrested teenagers – one male, one female – are both from the local area and are being held in custody.
“Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister”, her parents said in a statement. “She was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her. Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind.”
“The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same.
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this extremely difficult time. We would like to thank the police for their support, and witnesses for helping with the investigation.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Evans said various lines of inquiry were under way and officers were trying to establish the “exact circumstances” surrounding her death.
“At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the circumstances surrounding Brianna’s death are hate related,” he said.
“Patrols have been stepped up in the local area and officers will remain in the Culcheth area to provide reassurance and address any concerns that residents may have.
“I would ask anyone who has any information, no matter how big or small, that they believe could help with our investigation to get in touch.
“We are also keen for people and businesses within the local community to check any CCTV or dashcam footage for anything that may aid our investigation.”
While Detective Chief Inspector Adam Waller said that he understands “the concerns that this incident is likely to cause,” and that he is “aware” that of the rumours that Brianna was targeted because of her gender identity, “however, I would urge people not to speculate”.
Friends of Brianna left flowers and other tributes at the entrance of the park where she died. Tributes have also been paid across social media, and in particular TikTok, where she had a following.
Unsurprisingly, some transphobic Twitter users have responded with the usual garbage, while The Times reported her story using Brianna’s deadname, later updating the article once people began complaining online.
The Times have restored some of the references to Brianna as a girl and have removed her deadname from the article.https://t.co/fFdDpZOBjB
— Trans Safety Network (@trans_safety) February 13, 2023
As the debate around gender recognition certificate rages on, many LGBTQ+ advocates online pointed out that, due to Britain not having self-ID, Brianna’s death certificate will not be able to list her gender correctly.
Important to note. The gender recognition act that the gender criticals keep fighting with horrific, demonizing language means that Brianna Ghey’s death certificate cannot list her gender as female. As a final insult, the English government will officially misgender her in death.
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) February 13, 2023
Because Britain does not have Self ID, trans teenager Brianna Ghey cannot be buried as her true self. She won’t be allowed the dignity of having ‘beloved daughter’ on her gravestone. Or a correct death certificate. All because the mob oppose something they don’t understand.
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) February 13, 2023
It is so unspeakably cruel that the state will list Brianna Ghey as a boy on her death certificate.
A Gender Recognition Certificate is not a passport to spaces – you don’t need one for that. What it allows for is basic dignity on documents like marriage or death certificates. https://t.co/SqWzPddBdr
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) February 13, 2023