The death of a 14-year-old Ukrainian girl on a Devon beach is not suspicious, police confirmed today.
Albina Yevko, who had settled in Dawlish with her mother Inna, died in hospital after being discovered unconscious in the Devon seaside town on Saturday night.
Today, Devon and Cornwall Police said a CCTV trace, an autopsy and a check of Albina’s phone showed there was “no third party involvement” in her death.
They added that she had “settled very well in the UK” and had “enjoyed living by the sea and being part of a new family”.
The force did not give any cause of death and said the case had passed to the coroner.
Albina Yevko, 14, lived in Dawlish after fleeing Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
Inna Yevko with her daughter Albina as a child in Ukraine. She has spoken of her heartbreak
Detective Inspector Becky Davies said: “Following police investigations carried out throughout the Dawlish area, including CCTV networks, a search of Albina’s phone and a forensic autopsy; Investigating officers can confirm that there was no third-party involvement and that Albina Yevko’s death is not suspicious.
“Our research shows that Albina had settled in very well in the UK since moving from the Ukraine and enjoyed living by the sea and being part of a new family.
“She had made good friends, both Ukrainian and English, in the UK, she enjoyed school and was very well received by the local community.
We have informed Albina’s family of our findings and ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.
“The role of the police is to continue to collect information on this matter and send a file to the coroner, who will conduct an investigation into this death in due course.
‘We would like to thank everyone who has helped us with our investigation into this matter. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew Albina at this tragic time.
Albina moved to the UK in May last year after the Russian invasion, and was settling into a new life and attending the local secondary school.
Tributes have continued to pour in for the schoolgirl, with those who knew her expressing their shock at her death.
The teenager, who was attending a local school, was found on a Dawlish beach.
Olena Kravchenko, 39, a married accountant from Kharkiv, also arrived in the UK in May with her seven-year-old daughter, Vasilisa, and had become close with the family.
She said: ‘I didn’t believe it when I heard that he had died. I thought this is not about her. I thought it was someone else or a pet: a cat, a hamster, or a fish. She couldn’t believe it.
‘No one thought it would be like this. We came abroad to find a safe place, so that no one could imagine that this could happen.
‘Albina was a lovely girl. She was calm, she was smart. I can’t say that she was very communicative. As with all children (from Ukraine), she was somewhat stressed and she did not understand how she would be a year later.
“She was a normal teenager: calm, kind, intelligent. She was a very good girl.
Ms Kravchenko said she met Albina’s mother, Inna, at a local church in Dawlish shortly after arriving in the UK last year and had been supporting her.
She added: ‘For any child, it’s hard to adjust. Our children could learn a little English, but they can’t speak well. This is not a second language for them. They may know only a few sentences and it is difficult to make friends.
‘I don’t think she was struggling with something. She didn’t talk about fighting. Her mother, she never talked about any problems at school. She didn’t talk about this. I can only assume that she didn’t have any problems.
Police photographed Monday near the beach where Albina was found on Saturday.
Kravchenko, whose husband and brother are fighting in Ukraine, said Inna was from an area called Kryvyi Rih.
He added: ‘It was normal to meet people like that because all our lives, being displaced from Ukraine, we are on the move.
I found out about Albina on Sunday. We Ukrainians talk to each other, and if something bad happens, of course people will call or text. It is a close community.
‘My message to Inna would be don’t give up. Everything will be alright one day. For all Ukrainians.
‘Albina was a very nice person. She did not offend anyone. She was a good girl. And her mother, she’s a really brilliant person: she’s a good mother, a good worker, and a good friend. I can’t say anything bad about either of them.
‘She loved to read books, she was a normal girl. My daughter was playing with Albina and they were listening to music together.
‘His daughter was the only point in his life. She is single and only had one daughter. She is very sad.
It’s like you’ve lost your friend. We knew this girl. She was a normal teenager.
“We are ready to support Inna with everything we can and give her everything she needs.”
Paying an earlier tribute alongside the release of a photo of her daughter, Inna said: “My family and I are devastated to have lost our beautiful Albina.”
‘Nothing can ever replace her in our hearts. “We ask that our privacy be respected at this incredibly painful time.”
Police were first called on March 4 to report that Albina was missing. She was found on Dawlish Beach and airlifted to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where she later died.
Another close family friend, Viktoriia Zviholska, 38, added: “He was not only young, but also very bright, smart, interesting, he loved to draw.”
‘She is a good person. I can’t believe this could happen to her. Albina always discussed with her mother what she would do and where she would go.
They liked England. Albina rejoiced at the new school. I found good people in them. I only have fond memories of our time together.
Inna Yevko (right), Albina’s mother, pictured with her friend Viktoriia Zviholska (left), who revealed they had come to Dawlish last May.
Angela Wood, owner of the Coast to Coast souvenir shop in Dawlish, said: “I am shocked and saddened. There are quite a few Ukrainian families here.
‘As a mother it is very sad. It’s really tragic. When you think about all the trauma they’ve already been through, it’s heartbreaking.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry said it was aware of the death and that its “embassy is cooperating with the British (police) to establish the circumstances.”
Dawlish College, where Albina was a student, said “she would be greatly missed by all who knew her”. Principal Sam Banks said the school was “devastated to learn of her tragic death.”
He added: ‘Our thoughts are currently with Albina’s family and loved ones and we have expressed our deepest condolences and offers of support.
‘We have established emotional support… for staff and students. We would like to respect and echo the family’s request that their privacy be respected.”