Denis Morrissey at the memorial for his granddaughter Jayde Kendall in Gatton. It has been four years since her death.
Denis Morrissey at the memorial for his granddaughter Jayde Kendall in Gatton. It has been four years since her death. Lachlan McIvor

Toll taken on murdered schoolgirl’s family 'too great'

EVERY time August 14 passes by on the calendar, the day never gets any easier for the family of Jayde Kendall.

It marks the date the Gatton schoolgirl disappeared four years ago; the last time she was seen by family or friends.

The body of the Lockyer District High School student was discovered on farmland in Upper Tenthill a fortnight later.

The Jayde Kendall Day of Awareness Walk, which would have been held for the fourth time this month, was cancelled by her family.

Jayde's grandfather Denis Morrissey told the QT the past four years had "taken a toll" on the whole family and they had decided this year to step away from the spotlight.

Mr Morrissey, so often a public face for the family, said the strain had gotten too much and they needed to take a step back for their own well being.

But he stressed how important it was to keep the memory of his beloved "angel" alive and spread her message of awareness and ode against bullying and violence.

It is clearly not something the Gatton and wider Lockyer Valley community will ever let happen as evident by the hundreds of people who flooded the Justice4Jayde Facebook page to pay their respects this week.

A common theme was the posting of a purple heart, which was Jayde's favourite colour.

Mr Morrissey told people to continue to visit the memorial dedicated to Jayde in Gatton, saying it belongs to everyone.

Jayde Kendall's message of awareness and ode against bullying and violence.
Jayde Kendall's ode against bullying and violence.

Brenden Bennetts was found guilty of her murder in the Brisbane Supreme Court in 2017 and an appeal to the conviction was quashed last year.

He was sentenced to life behind bars.

Bennetts had agreed to give up the location of her body to police but as arrangements were being made, she was discovered on the Upper Tenthill property on August 26 2015.

Jayde was last seen on after she left school on Friday, August 14 and she sent a text message to Bennetts around 3.20pm that day before he picked her up.

Bennetts was seen on CCTV footage a little over two hours later making withdrawals from Jayde's bank account using her bankcard at the Commonwealth Bank branch in Gatton.

Her purse was found on the Warrego Highway outside four days later.

Bennetts provided a statement to police at the Grantham Police Station on August 18 and was then interviewed at the Gatton station late that night.

He provided police with the t-shirt he had been wearing in the CCTV footage and a search warrant was executed at his home on August 19.

Bennetts was again questioned by police at the Laidley station following the search and two days later he was arrested for the murder of Jayde Kendall.

He was later released without any charges being laid on August 21 but he was arrested again in Brisbane at the office of his solicitor on August 27 and charged with murder.

Jayde's message of awareness reads: be aware of where you are, what yo are doing, who you are with, the circumstances you could be placing yourself in and always tell someone where you are going.

Her ode reads: may your lives of respect, gentleness and love replace all forms of violence, bullying and discrimination. In our world let this be your choice and our prayer.

Jayde Kendall's message of awareness and ode against bullying and violence.
Jayde Kendall's message of awareness.