A group of students who found a body hanging from a tree in the woods thought it was a halloween prank, until police discovered it was a suicide victim.
The students, who did not report the gruesome discovery, had been watching a horror film prior to their walk in the woods near Manor Park in Surrey last November.
The body was identified as Christopher Chai, a student at the nearby Surrey University. The 18-year-old had experienced suicidal feelings and attended his university's wellbeing centre for counselling, get Surrey reported.
An inquest into his death heard how talented Christopher was a member of the rugby team and helped younger students with art and French.
One of Christopher's university friends said he had texted her prior to his death saying he wanted to change his biosciences degree and hadn't been feeling very well. She grew increasingly concerned after Christopher told her he was "sitting in a tree" and raised the alarm with the university's security.
Christopher's counselling psychotherapist said: "I thought he was describing distress in his life but he was quite calm and relaxed, and spoke in measured terms. He wasn’t exhibiting distress in the session but it was only 20 minutes. He handed me a piece of paper he had written on which mentioned occasional suicidal feelings."
In a statement, Christopher's former school, Dulwich College, said: "Our thoughts are with Christopher’s family and friends at this sad time. He will be much missed."
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