Kayleigh Haywood began speaking to Luke Harlow, a man she had never met, on 31 October 2015.
Over the course of 13 days they exchanged 2643 messages. Harlow told the 15-year-old all the things many teenage girls want to hear. He told her she was beautiful, how much he cared for her and that she was special.
Harlow was grooming Kayleigh, along with two other young girls he had also been speaking to. But it was Kayleigh that finally agreed to his requests to spend the night of Friday 13 November 2015 at his house.
She spent the next day with him too, and in the early hours of Sunday 15 November, having been held against her will by Harlow and by his next door neighbour Stephen Beadman, Kayleigh was raped and murdered by Beadman.
Online grooming and the dangers of speaking to people online
With the support of Kayleigh’s family, Leicestershire Police has made a film about aspects of the last two weeks of her life.
Kayleigh’s Love Story is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.
It’s vital that young people understand the importance of staying safe online and parents can spot the signs that may indicate their child is being groomed. There is a fact sheet for parents that contains information about online grooming and the tell-tale signs and behaviours.
Facts about the film
The film lasts around five minutes. A trailer has also been made which is available to view now.
The film was made by Affixxius Films in Loughborough and was shot in various locations across Leicestershire and in Nottingham.
The film and the trailer both contain warnings. If either were to be screened at a cinema, they would carry a 15 certificate.
How will the film be rolled out?
The film was shown in July 2016 to the communities of Measham, Ibstock and Coalville and to children aged 14 and over in six schools in North West Leicestershire, with support from their parents, teachers, police officers and social workers.
Between September and December 2016 every child aged 11 and above had the opportunity to see the film, again with support, across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The film has also been released to every other police force in the country for them to show to schoolchildren in their own areas.
What can I do to help?
Support our CEASE campaign
CEASE (commitment to eradicate abuse and sexual exploitation) is a major multi-agency campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We want everyone to play their part by making a commitment that such abuse and exploitation of children will not be tolerated and help spot the signs to prevent young people coming to harm.
In memory of Kayleigh and to protect all of our children, please pledge your support to help stop this this appalling crime which sees vulnerable young people deliberately targeted and preyed upon. We all have a responsibility to help tackle it.
You can show your support in the following ways: