The Courier-Mail

Tears and tributes for shy and loving girl

- KATE KYRIACOU

SHE’S the girl who never made a wave, who shyly and quietly went to school, who cared for her family and friends – and who went unnoticed until the most terrible of tragedies.

For days, the cinema-style billboard at the front of Jayde Kendall’s school bore her name. Across the road, where parents park to wait for their children, her face stared out from a crumpled poster.

Further down the street, past the corner store and the angular brick buildings of the primary school, is the McDonald’s where she worked.

The girl, who two weeks earlier had served behind the counter, looked out from the front glass doors – a rosycheeke­d student smiling for her school portrait.

Jayde, the posters said, had not been seen since August 14. Concerns were held for her wellbeing. Her disappeara­nce was out of character.

Thirteen days later, when her body was discovered in a paddock, down a narrow deadend lane, it was all of Queensland who grieved for the girl who should have lived a long life of relative anonymity.

At her school, fellow students left flowers and tributes. Many wrote that they’d never met her, or barely knew her, but they grieved all the same.

Students and teachers wore purple – her favourite colour. They cried in each other’s arms. Online, strangers responded to a call to wear purple in her honour.

Jayde Kendall wanted to help people. She was empathetic. When she finished high school, she wanted to be a psychologi­st.

A Facebook page dedicated to finding the schoolgirl posted the message: “Just like Jayde always did – wherever you are today, be a little kinder, smile a little longer and say thank you to that stranger like they are your friend.”

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