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Father’s heartbreak after discovering daughter, 11, dead in her bedroom as he goes to wake her for school

A grieving father has recounted the heartbreaking final conversation he had with his daughter, who was discovered lifeless in her bedroom by him the following morning. On May 4, 2022, 11-year-old Roxy-Mae Barber was tragically found when her father, Michael Barber, went to wake her up for school.

During an inquest held at Grimsby Town Hall, it was revealed that Roxy-Mae, a young and vibrant schoolgirl, was described as “kind, funny, and generous.” The last conversation between Roxy-Mae and her father took place on the previous night and appeared to be ordinary.

Around 10:30 p.m., Michael heard a loud noise but thought nothing of it, as disclosed during the inquest. It was only when he knocked on her bedroom door at around 7 a.m. the next morning to wake her for school that he discovered her lifeless body. During the June 2 hearing, Coroner Paul Smith stated that there was no evidence of suicide.

He concluded that although the act that led to her death was intentional, Roxy-Mae did not intend the final outcome. Mr. Smith remarked, “It was a dangerous act, and we must remember that we are dealing with the tragic loss of an 11-year-old girl.” Mr. Barber expressed his devastation and explained that he has been unable to return to their home since the tragic event, told Mirror.

Roxy-Mae had been living with him after spending her early years with her mother. He shared in his statement, “I’m devastated and have not been able to go back into the house where I found Roxy since her death and have been staying with my brother. I’ve now sold it and will be moving in with my partner.”

Roxy-Mae’s heartbroken mother, Tracy Woodliffe, also paid tribute at the inquest. She stated, “I do not believe this was suicide, but a tragic accident.” Roxy-Mae, a former pupil at Oasis Academy Wintringham, was described as a joyful presence who adored music and her two pet gerbils, Toffee and Caramel.

She enjoyed playing Fortnite on her PlayStation with friends and was active on social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok. In the weeks leading up to her passing, she was thrilled about her father’s plans to marry his partner and had even started planning the event in her notebook.

Mr. Barber added, “The memories and love we felt for her will live on forever in our hearts, even though she was only with us for a short time.” He decided to relocate Roxy’s belongings to their new home so that the “beautiful, kind, funny, and gorgeous” girl could have a room of her own there.

On the day before her death, nothing seemed out of the ordinary as Roxy attended and returned from school as usual. The last conversation between Michael and his daughter occurred on the evening of May 3.

Paramedics arrived shortly after 7:30 a.m., but Roxy-Mae was tragically pronounced dead at 7:35 a.m. In his statement, Michael mentioned events that, in retrospect, might have hinted at the actions leading to Roxy’s death.

Crime Scene Investigators and officers examined Roxy’s social media accounts but found nothing of concern. DC Barden, speaking about the impact of Roxy-Mae’s passing on the wider community, stated, “The school was as shocked as everyone else.”

The coroner, Mr. Smith, expressed the difficulty faced not only by himself but also by those present at the inquest. He affirmed that the memories of Roxy-Mae would endure for years to come.

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