Mother tells inquest on daughter’s death how she found her using smartphone tracker
A UK mother has told an inquest on her daughter’s death she found the teenager using a smartphone location app.
Tasha Oliver was happy her daughter Abi, 18, had made plans to meet with friends after living with long-term depression and anxiety that forced her to spend a year bouncing between four different hospitals following an overdose.
“Abi planning to meet a friend was good because she would not even go to the shops with me,” Tasha reportedly told last week’s inquest in the West London Coroner’s Court, according to the Mirror.
But when Tasha arrived home around 5pm on that fateful January afternoon last year to find her daughter hadn’t returned, she began to worry.
Tasha “did not want to pressure” her daughter, even texting a friend to ask how long she should wait.
A text to her daughter reading “
Parental concern over their children’s wherabouts is natural, particularly in Tasha’s case where her daughter had been receiving treatment for a number of mental health issues.
And the proliferation of smartphones and other devices that allow parents to electronically keep tabs on their children’s location means parents can keep track of their children’s location like never before.
are you okay? Love mum” went unanswered.
“I went outside to look for her as I was concerned I had not heard from her,” Tasha told the inquest.
She used an app designed to locate lost or stolen smartphones to track her daughter’s device to a West London park.
It initially showed her close to the school. I zoomed in on the map and it showed Abi being in the grounds of Chiswick House.”
Tasha arrived at the park to find her daughter had taken her own life.
She performed CPR on Abi until emergency services arrived, but they were unable to save her daughter.
A study by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne found one in five parents reported tracking their children’s location, while almost half the parents who hadn’t would consider doing it in the future.
The ratio climbed to one in four parents whose children travelled to and from school alone at least once a week.
Most of the parents in the study said their children were aware they were being tracked.
A little over 40 per cent of parents who tracked their children said they checked only if there was an issue, but one in six parents said they continuously monitored their child’s location.
One in five parents also reported disagreeing with their partner about tracking, and a third said their children would prefer if they didn’t do it.
Both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphone operating systems allow parents to track and share the location of nominated family members.
Several companies including Spacetalk and TicTocTrack also make GPS smartwatches that allow parents to track their children without giving them a fully fledged smartphone.