Malaga - The girlfriend of a British teenager who plunged to his death in an apparent suicide pact sparked a desperate race to save the pair by posting a message on social media saying: ‘It’s a dirty world that I don’t want to live in anymore.’
The 14-year-old schoolgirl, who is also British, was rescued by a security guard moments after her tragic sweetheart – named locally as Richard Fitzsimons, 16 – jumped from the 65ft-high roof of the El Corte Ingles department store in Puerto Banus on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Writing on Instagram earlier, she said: ‘To anyone who has ever loved/known or supported me, thank you, I love you and I will miss you.’
It is believed the pair had earlier told friends or family that they planned to go shopping at the store that day. Sources close to the investigation said the mother of a child at the exclusive Aloha College private school, where Richard was a pupil, alerted department store staff shortly before he fell to his death at 11.42am on Friday.
A security guard spotted the pair on the roof on store cameras before a brave colleague risked his life to wrestle the girl to the ground.
Sales manager John Henrik, 47, from Norway, who watched the horror unfold from his eighth-floor flat in a block opposite the store, said: ‘I was having a coffee with my wife when I heard a loud bang.
‘When I went to see what was happening, I spotted a young girl fighting with a security guard on the roof opposite. Within seconds, two or three others arrived.
‘The security men were dragging her down from a small platform on the roof and sitting on her. It was very dramatic.’
Richard is the son of a Brazilian mother and a British father. It is understood his parents split several years ago. Aloha College charges fees of up to £13,000 a year and is regarded as one of the best schools in the area. It was on half-term last week and has made no comment.
CCTV footage given to the police by the store is understood to show Richard pushing the girl away from the edge of the roof to safety after she experienced a ‘split-second’ of doubt. A source said: ‘Several calls went into the department store from people who said they had published social media messages warning what they were going to do. One was from the mother of a friend who then started looking for them in the vicinity of the building.
‘A security guard in the camera control room spotted them on the roof and put out an alert.
‘Along with the brave security guard who risked his own safety reaching them 30 seconds later and grappling the girl to the ground from a raised 20sq ft platform, they were heroic actions which saved a life. Sadly it was too late to save the boy.’
Friends and well-wishers on Saturday left flowers and candles at the spot where Richard died. One said: ‘Rest in paradise. I hope you’re not struggling wherever you are now.’
Mail on Sunday