Ukraine refugee, 14, dies after she is found on beach
A TEENAGE Ukrainian refugee who fled war in her homeland has died after being found unconscious on a Devon beach.
Albina Yevko, 14, who had settled in the seaside town of Dawlish with her mother, was airlifted to hospital where she died after she was discovered on Saturday evening.
Police had been searching after receiving reports of the missing teen. Yesterday Albina’s mother, Inna, said in a statement: ‘Myself and my family are devastated to have lost our beautiful Albina. Nothing can ever replace her in our hearts. We ask that our privacy is respected at this incredibly painful time.’
The family are understood to have settled in Dawlish after arriving in the UK last year.
Angela Wood, owner of Coast to Coast souvenir shop in Dawlish, said: ‘I’m shocked and saddened. There are quite a few Ukrainian families here.
‘As a mother it is just very sad. It’s really tragic. When you think of all the trauma they have already gone through it’s heartbreaking.’
Police are treating the death as unexplained and are looking into the circumstances surrounding it. Detective Inspector Becky Davies said: ‘Our investigation continues as we try to piece together Albina’s final hours.
‘Officers continue to undertake door-to-door inquiries as we try to identify any witnesses or CCTV footage that capture Albina’s movements. Whilst this death remains unexplained, we are not currently treating this death as suspicious. Our thoughts are very much with those who knew Albina at this tragic time, and the close-knit Dawlish community who will no doubt be in shock over this loss.’
Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry said it was aware of the death and that its ‘embassy is cooperating with the British [police] in order to establish the circumstances’.
Dawlish College, where Albina was a pupil, said she ‘would be sorely missed by all who knew her.’ Head teacher Sam Banks said the school was ‘devastated to learn of the tragic death’.
He added: ‘Our thoughts are currently with Albina’s family and loved ones and we have extended our deepest condolences and offers of support to them.
‘We have set up emotional support... for staff and students. We would like to respect and echo the family’s request that their privacy be respected.’
A post mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow.