MOURNERS gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of former Pendle teenager Jayden Parkinson.

The service for 17-year-old Jayden, who had previously lived with dad Paul in Nelson, was held at a church in Cheriton, near Folkestone, Kent, on Saturday.

It was conducted by the Rev David de Verny, two months after the teenager’s body was discovered following a high-profile search for her.

Before the service, Mr Parkinson said on Facebook: “Well here goes the hardest day of my life. We have to say good bye to our Jayden. We will miss you so much baby girl. Always in our hearts but never forgotten. Bye baby girl, love you xxxxxxxxxx.”

The former Colne Primet High School pupil also has two uncles who live in East Lancashire, Darren Parkinson, of Cromer Grove, Burnley, and Glen Parkinson, of Rutland Street, Nelson.

Jayden’s body was found in a recently disturbed grave in the Great Western Cemetery next to All Saints’ Church in Didcot, Oxfordshire, in December.

The discovery was made following an intensive search, involving more than 100 officers, backed up by specialists from the National Crime Agency.

Jayden, of Iffley Road, Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcot railway station on December 3. Then police received ‘significant and highly relevant information’ which led them to focus on the graveyard. Results of an initial post-mortem examination on Jayden proved inconclusive and the results of further toxicology reports have yet to be disclosed.

Jayden’s ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, has been charged with murdering her and perverting the course of justice.

Blakeley, of Christchurch Road in Reading, Berkshire, is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court for a plea hearing on March 17. A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, is also charged with perverting the course of justice between December 3 and December 10 by allegedly helping dispose of Jayden’s body and other evidence.

A remembrance service was held in December for Jayden at All Saints’ Church where people lit candles and signed a book of condolence.