Jayde Kendall's heart of gold will be 'forever cherished'
UPDATE 6PM: A YOUNG girl with a love of glitter pens, dreams of fairy fantasy lands and an insatiable love for her family.
Jayde Amanda Kendall has been remembered as a young women wise beyond her years with a heart of gold.
A 16-year-old with a smile for everyone and a propensity to care so deeply for those she held dearest.
Hundreds have paid their respects to the murdered teenager at a touching service in Gatton.
Her father, Bruce Morrissey, said it was his dearest hope the heartbreak he and his family was enduring would never be repeated.
He said his daughter was the shining beacon in his family who made the "unfortunate decision to put her trust in someone she thought she could trust".
In his first public appearance since his daughter disappeared on August 14, Mr Morrissey thanked the investigators and volunteers that searched tirelessly for his daughter.
He said the family had mourned at a private funeral yesterday - that this afternoon's service was for the public.
Showing a strength that mirrored that of his sister, Brandon Morrissey, 10, thanked the police and emergency services for finding his sister.
"I'd like to say a big thanks to the many people of Lockyer community districts and everybody, even some people overseas, that helped with the investigation to help find Jayde," he said.
Jayde's grandfather Denis Morrissey said a special garden memorial would be set up outside the Lockyer District High School in her memory.
"As I look out here, I know Jayde would be smiling," Mr Morrissey said.
"She would have really liked this turn-out, even though she would have rolled her eyes.
"For 16 years, I had the honour and the privilege to know Jayde, and I watched her grow from a beautiful little girl into a beautiful teenager.
"I will always cherish our time together.
"Our final hug goodbye will stay with me forever."
Close friend Lorena Huggins said her last conversation with Jayde was about what formal dress she would buy for her pending graduation.
She said the teenager had been her daughter's first friend and when she spoke of her family, it was always with pride and adoration.
"She was a genuine person who really cared and if she asked how you were, she really meant it," Mrs Huggins said.
"She had a heart of gold, even at a young age.
"Jayde never took anything for granted and treasured everything.
"Our last conversation was about how she had been looking at formal dresses online, and about her last school report."
Jayde's aunts Jennifer Morrissey, Kelli Schrader and Emma Ralph shared their memories of their niece.
They said the driven and determined teenager's passion had been piloted by her own personal tragedy - the death of her mother at a young age.
They said that nurtured Jayde's aspirations to become a psychologist - to help others and give back.
With one voice, they said: "Fly high and free, beautiful angel; we miss you and will carry you in our hearts forever."
5PM: Jayde Kendall's schoolmates say they will forever treasure their friendship with the young murder victim.
They fought back tears as they spoke at a public memorial service for Jayde in Gatton today.
Our Lady of Good Counsel School principal Sue Carpenter remembered Jayde as a bubbly, freckled young girl who was "quite the conversationalist".
Lockyer District High School art teacher Mrs Achilles said it was an "honour and privilege" to have taught Jayde.
Her close friend Lorena Huggins said that Jayde had "stole a big piece of my heart".
4.30PM: Jayde Kendall's family has delivered a moving tribute to the murdered schoolgirl, saying "fly high and free beautiful angel".
They are speaking at a public memorial service in Gatton.
Jayde's uncle Craig Morrissey says he will never forget the honour and privilege on knowing his niece.
Her brother Brandon has thanked all those who help search for his sister during the two weeks she went missing.
4.20PM: Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones has spoken of the profound impact Jayde Kendall's death has had on the region.
He says the community has been united in their shock and grief at the tragic events which ended in the discovery of the schoolgirl's body three weeks ago.
He says while the region is usually close-knit, those bonds have been further strengthened as a result of the teen's death.
4.10PM: Jayde Kendall's grandfather Dennis Morrissey has thanked the community for its support during a heartbreaking time for his family.
Mr Morrissey addressed hundreds at his grand-daughter's memorial service. He revealed Jayde had been laid to rest at a private funeral yesterday.
Mr Morrissey said that the community support since Jayde went missing had been overwhelming.
He thanked the police and emergency services involved in his granddaughter's/niece's case for their dedication, and for giving the family some closure.
It was announced during that service at a memorial garden would be established at Lockyer District High School in Jayde's memory.
4PM: Hundreds are gathering in Gatton to pay their respects to murdered schoolgirl Jayde Kendall.
The Gatton Sports Centre is a sea of purple as friends and strangers come together, united in their shock at the tragedy which unfolded in the region three weeks ago.
The 16-year-old was reported missing by family on Friday, August 14, after she was last seen leaving the Lockyer District High School.
Her body was found dumped in bushland almost two weeks later in Upper Tent Hill.
Those touched by the tragedy have worn purple - the teenager's favourite colour.
1PM: Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said the 40,000-odd residents in his region had been united in their shock and grief after 16-year-old Jayde Kendall was found murdered three weeks ago.
He expected this afternoon's memorial service for the Gatton schoolgirl to attract hundreds, if not thousands, of people wearing purple to pay their respects.
Cr Jones will address the memorial service which starts at 4pm at the Gatton Sports Centre.
"What I'll be talking about is the profound impact it has had on the shire," Cr Jones said.
"The circumstances around this have tugged at the heart strings of the entire shire.
"What it has done is bring the people together in an unbelievable way."
Cr Jones said he had spoken with Jayde's grandfather, Dennis Morrissey, and said the family had been overwhelmed by the support offered from the community.
"During that discussion with her grandfather, what became apparent to me was the family had been touched by the tremendous show of support from the community," Cr Jones said.
"Given the amount of people contacting me over the past week or so, the continuous stream of people sending their well-wishes, I would say there will be a lot at the service."
10AM: THE Lockyer Valley community is expected to turn out in big numbers to say goodbye to murdered teen Jayde Kendall at a memorial service this afternoon.
Pastor John Haigh, who organised a community support prayer vigil in Gatton for Jayde while she was missing, said it would be a relief for the family to be able to start the process of moving forward.
"This is a fantastic step, it is a great opportunity for the community to come together and show support for the family," he said.
Pastor Haigh said the tragedy had made child safety more of a priority for Lockyer Valley families.
He said parents were changing their working hours so they could pick their children up from school.
"I haven't heard a person yet who knew her, was in a class with her or knew her in any way that is not going to today's event," he said.
"The family are organising this event, it is just really beautiful that the family are at a point to let the community share their grief, which is very helpful."
The memorial service will be held at the Gatton Sports Centre from 4pm.
Those paying their respects are urged to wear purple in honour of the 16-year-old.