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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 18:09 GMT
Two young cousins 'found hanged'
Nathaniel Pritchard and Kelly Stephenson
The cousins were said to be very close
Two young cousins from Bridgend have been found hanged within hours of each other, it has been confirmed.

Nathaniel Pritchard, 15, died in hospital after "harming himself".

Kelly Stephenson, 20, who had been told her cousin was in a serious condition, was found hanged while on holiday in Kent. Police said it was too early to say how the deaths were linked.

It brings the number of apparent suicides among young people in the Bridgend area to 16 in the past year.

Officers were called to Nathaniel's home in the Cefn Glas area of Bridgend on Wednesday night and the force said he died in hospital after "harming himself".

His death is not believed to be suspicious "or linked to any other incidents or sudden deaths in the area," said a South Wales Police spokesman.

Each new death needs to be investigated individually
Carwyn Jones AM

Ms Stephenson and Nathaniel were said to be "very close" by friends.

Relatives confirmed that she had been told about Nathaniel and that there was little hope he would pull through.

Ms Stephenson, who was on holiday in Folkestone, told a relative she was going to the bathroom but when she did not come downstairs they went to investigate and found her dead.

'Brilliant kids'

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said: "We can confirm that a 20-year-old woman was found dead at an address in Folkestone.

"Officers are making inquiries but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances. An inquest will be opened next week."

Police are investigating the deaths but say it is too early to say how they are linked.

It is thought both youngsters were members of the Bebo and Facebook internet social networking sites.

Relatives confirmed Ms Stephenson knew two previous young people from the Bridgend area who hanged themselves last year.

A relative of both youngsters said: "Kelly was friends with both boys but whether this had anything to do with what has happened we just don't know.

"Kelly and Nathaniel were both brilliant kids with good futures ahead of them."

Ms Stephenson was a keen footballer and had recently signed for local team Porthcawl Lightning Strikers.

Manager Tony Morgan said: "She had only played one game for us - I couldn't pick her for this weekend because she was going away on holiday. It is a shock...Everyone at the club will be shocked."

Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones said: "It's important to understand that there is no link between the recent suicides in Bridgend, and each new death needs to be investigated individually.

"Obviously, I pass my sympathy to the families of Nathaniel Pritchard and Kelly Stephenson on their double loss."

South Wales Police are reviewing suicides among young people in the Bridgend area over the last year.

A taskforce is also examining suicides in the county since 2004.

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