Ellie Soutter was one of the young British snowboarders to watch out for in the next Winter Olympics, but this week on her 18th birthday, she took her life in Les Gets, France in the Alps. Soutter disappeared from her home in a heavily wooded area where search and rescue dogs found her body.
The Mirror reported that Jeremy Soutter, the uncle of Ellie Soutter, flew to France to aid his brother, Tony, who is understandably devastated by the loss of his daughter. Her uncle explained that they had planned a birthday party for that night.
“Everything was already in place for tonight. Ellie had been looking forward to it. At least a dozen people were coming from the UK for it.”
The Soutter family says they are still at a loss to figure out why this happened.
“Ellie grew up with her father Tony. They were incredibly close. When Tony and his wife divorced, Tony was adamant he would bring Ellie up. He has quite extraordinary parenting skills.”
Jeremy Soutter says that Ellie had seemed optimistic about the future which makes everything even more confusing. He explains he saw his niece recently back in England.
“And I saw her at a wedding in the UK recently and she was as chirpy as ever. You could never have anticipated this.”
Team GB snowboarder Ellie Soutter's family confirm tragic details of her death https://t.co/cTBFgHrc7A
— ian mcdonald (@ianmcdo03120397) July 28, 2018
Father Tony Soutter reportedly saw Ellie for the last time that morning before he headed to work. He explained that he stopped in her room at 8 a.m. on the day of her 18th birthday, but she was still sleeping. Soutter explains he texted her later but never heard back. Tony Soutter says he grew concerned when he returned home after work at 6 p.m. to find that her purse was still at the house, but she was nowhere to be found, so he alerted the police.
The authorities brought in sniffer dogs and they traced Ellie Soutter’s scent into the nearby woods. Her uncle explains that they found her after 11 p.m.
“It was 11.15pm when they found her. There was no note, nothing. She was somewhere you can hardly access. She must have just kept walking and walking. Police struggled to get there.”
Her uncle added to Extra that Ellie seemed happy and hopeful.
“She was as bright as a button the day before. Happy, excited about life. This is the thing that’s killing her father.”
Ellie Soutter’s former boyfriend, skier Oscar Mandin, said that she had some issues in the past, but he is surprised that she took her life.
“She had had an unstable period but she’d got through that. So I was so shocked when I heard what happened.”
Mandin says that snowboarding and competition made her happy, so he can’t believe her death had anything to do with sports.
“I think sport was the thing that gave her her smiles. That was her happy place. I don’t think this has to do with her snowboarding.”