Burgess Hill family’s message after teenage son Elido tragically takes own life

The family of Burgess Hill teenager Elido Vargas Jnr who took his own life are urging young people experiencing suicidal thoughts to get in touch with a national charity.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:33 pm

The family of Burgess Hill teenager Elido Vargas Jnr who took his own life are urging young people experiencing suicidal thoughts to get in touch with a national charity.

The 15-year-old’s body was found in the churchyard at St John’s Church on Thursday, June 7, by two members of the public.

Assistant coroner Joanne Andrews recorded a conclusion of suicide at an inquest at Crawley Coroners Court on Tuesday (January 22).

Elido Vargas, 15, tragically took his own life

In a statement, his family said: “Many people worry that asking about suicide may put the idea into a young person’s head, or offend or make them angry. Research indicates that asking does not increase the risk. By asking someone if they have thought of suicide you have told them that you are a safe person to talk to and that you can work with them to get help.

“If you are a young person struggling with life or someone worried about a young person you know I urge you to get in touch with national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

“If feeling suicidal the charity’s trained mental health advisers will help to keep you safe and for worried others, help you to start a conversation to keep safe a young person at risk from suicide.

“Contact the charity’s HOPELINEUK helpline 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209 697, or email [email protected]

A heartfelt tribute left by the community at the time of Elido's death

“Don’t hesitate: you could save a young life.”

The inquest heard how Elido, who was born in the Dominican Republic, went missing on the afternoon of June 5, last year.

His father, also called Elido, saw him when he was walking home from work. He asked him where he was going and was told he was going back to school for a detention, the inquest heard.

When he got home he found a note which was in his son’s writing, which ‘gave him cause for concern’, as it began with ‘this is a suicide note’. He went to the school but was told Elido was not there. He then reported him missing to the police at 4.06pm.

Sussex Police conducted a search that evening and the following day. School staff, family and friends, also helped out with the search.

On June 7, two members of the public called police at 12.45pm to report that they had found a body in the church yard at Lower Church Road. The body was identified as Elido by his father, the inquest heard. The 15-year-old was taken to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

The inquest heard how Elido had left his two mobile phones at home when he went missing, which was ‘out of character’.

It was also told he had made comments to his friends that signalled he was in a low state of mind.

Pathologist Dr Mark Taylor gave the cause of death as hanging, the inquest heard.

Assistant coroner Joanne Andrews said it was clear Elido had intended to take his own life.

She added: “I would like to just pass on my sincere condolences to the family, I appreciate that this has been a very difficult time.”

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can call them free any time, from any phone on 116 123 or you can email them at [email protected]

They say: “If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.”