THE heartbroken dad of a Brit bar worker who took her own life in Magaluf just days before her birthday has paid tribute to his “beautiful girl.”
Danielle Brookes, 23, was found dead next to a note in her apartment on the bustling Punta Ballena strip after concerned friends alerted a neighbour.
An inquest held in Warrington earlier this week concluded that Danielle – who was known as Dani – died as a result of a suicide.
Now devastated Michael Finlay Brookes has spoken of his loss and his “amazing” daughter who he said had a “heart of gold”.
He told Cheshire Live: “Dani was my steel girder, all the way through life since she was born when I was 23. She had turned into a beautiful young lady and she was brainy.
“Dani was the type of person who would do anything for anyone. I’ve heard that many stories about when people she knew were feeling low in Magaluf.
“Dani would be the first person on the phone saying ‘get ready, I’ll come and pick you up’ and she’d just take them out for a few drinks to cheer them up.
“She was just the life and soul of the party. She was beautiful inside and out. I know every dad says that but she was, she really was.
“She was just an amazing girl with a heart of gold. I miss her so much, I really do. It’s heart-breaking. I really do feel like I’ve lost my best mate.”
Danielle seemed “content” right before her death on May 18 last year, according to her grieving mum Mandy.
In a statement read out by coroner Claire Welch, Mandy said her daughter had been on a night out with pals two days before she took her own life.
And she had been messaging her step-mum Lisa on WhatsApp until late on May 17 about looking forward to celebrating her birthday, an inquest heard.
A report from the Civil Guard General Headquarters in Spain confirmed a suicide note was found on the counter in the living area of Danielle’s flat.
Ms Welch said on behalf of Mandy: “In the immediate period to her passing away, she presented as content and happy.
“There was no indication at all of any low mood in the days leading up to her death and in fact she was making future plans for her birthday.
“She was last spoken to over WhatsApp on May 17, late in the evening.
“She sent some videos to her stepmother Lisa showing her in a bar, out drinking with some friends. She was laughing, happy and didn’t show any signs of low mood.
“The last time Dani spoke to Lisa was just before 11pm on the Sunday night.
“Lisa had messaged Dani saying ‘I can’t wait for our girly hot tub night’ and Dani replied ‘me too, love you’ with kisses. That was the last point that Dani was on WhatsApp.”
Danielle had previously been diagnosed with anxiety and had attempted an overdose about seven years before her death, the statement also said.
Her cause of death was recorded as asphyxia by hanging after a post-mortem in Spain.
A second carried out at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, Cheshire, after Danielle’s body was repatriated recorded the same cause of death.
Both reported there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs playing a part in her death.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Ms Welch said:
“From the background information I have from the family, there were no signs that she was planning to do what she did, there was forward planning in terms of looking forward to the hot tub plans for her birthday.
“There were no signs of low mood, far less in the suicidal sense.
“I do note there was past history of an overdose, although it was seven years ago, and there was no reference, as far as the family were aware, of her having any suicidal thoughts.
“But I have to balance that against the circumstances in which Dani was found and also the note that she had left, which makes it appear to me that she was making her intentions clear.
“When I put those pieces of evidence together, it suggests to me an element of forward planning.
“Those features, despite the absence of any external signs to you (the family), satisfy me that unfortunately it is more likely than not that it was her intention to end her life.”
A GoFundMe page was set up in the wake of her death.
One of the two expats who set up the fundraising site, Meghan Tattersall, paid tribute Danielle on Facebook.
She said at the time: “You are my best friend and my angel high in the sky. I’m truly heartbroken.
“I’m so proud to be able to spend everyday with you. Fly high my princess. RIP to my girl I’m so proud of. I love you.”
YOU ARE NOT ALONE…
Every 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774
Another pal, Jay Burton, wrote: “Absolutely devastated to hear the news Danielle Finlay Brookes.
“You were the life of the party everywhere you were. Hope you rest in peace. Magaluf won’t be the same without you.”
He added in a later post: “Sending all my love to everyone else who is struggling through this tough time.
“Being stuck indoors, with your mind doing somersaults, thinking you’re not good enough, with the biggest challenge of the day being putting a smile on your face.
“To all my friends and family, please check on those you haven’t heard from in a while.”
Danielle, who described herself on social media as a “queen building her own empire” had worked in Magaluf for several years.
Last year, dad Michael, also known as Fin, said his daughter had caught Covid-19 two months before her death.