Two young lovers were found hanging from a tree, cradled in each other’s arms. Two weeks before, they had been in a “loving relationship.” The boy was 20-year-old Charlie Eccleston, a singer, and guitarist, while the girl was 20-year-old Zaiga Gravenieks, a music student. Their dangling corpses were found on the outskirts of the village of Shenley, UK, on November 5, 2017, near Coombe Wood.
The bizarre death was investigated by Hatfield Coroner’s Court. The couple had last been seen together buying rope along with some paint at a store in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. They were shopping on October 31, 2017, and were found a few days later hanging from the same tree limb, apparently having committed suicide together.
Before their bodies were found, the pair were reported missing. But this was the fourth time both of them had gone missing together. Charlie had done it before in 2014, 2015, and 2016. But this time, something felt different. It felt as though a spark had gone off somewhere, as though this would be the final time the pair of lovers would fall off the grid and go missing together.
Their fears were confirmed when Charlie’s note was found. It was left near his favorite jacket and instructed whoever found it to give the jacket to his friend. This led police to hurry up their search for the missing lovers.
Three days later, Detective Constable Ian Waldock heard the news – their bodies were found hanging from a tree in a “very secluded” area out of view of everyone. He hurried out to check it out.
“They were both hanging from a tree in a slightly cleared area. Both were found hanging from the same branch. Zaiga also had her arm around Charlie’s shoulder as if cradling him.”
While the police now realized why they had bought the rope, they also learned why the spray paint had been purchased. The couple had used it to spray the words “towards eternity” and 4 Ever” on the tree trunk. A bottle of alcohol was also found on the ground beneath them.
Zaiga also had a note in her pocket.
“Life starts now, the next chapter is here,” and then it said, “This is the next chapter, and we have served our time in hell.”
There was no bringing back the lovers once their bodies had been discovered. They’d been dead for a while. And an autopsy confirmed that they’d died of asphyxiation. The coroner also found cocaine and marijuana in their system.
The couple was celebrated during a remembrance event the following spring. Friends of the two young lovers, Shea Mackay and David Himbury, organized the concert to support the charity Missing People. Charlie was a singer and guitarist in a heavy metal band called Desert Smokers, which released an album after his death.
Shea met Charlie while out shopping.
“Charlie was absolutely crazy in a very fun way, we basically used to go around, causing havoc, but everybody loved him. He was a very nice guy, super hyper and non-stop, but so lovely, and he always looked after his friends – a very protective friend.”
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