'unexplained' | 

Mum ‘devastated’ as daughter found dead after online gaming friends raised alarm

Fellow gamers contacted police after mother-of-two Lauren (36) hadn’t logged on in days

Andrew MaddenBelfast Telegraph

A woman from Northern Ireland has said she is “devastated” following the death in Scotland of her daughter, whose body was found when online gaming friends alerted police after not hearing from her for two days.

Lauren Black (36) was found dead at her home in the town of Renfrew last Tuesday.

A frequent online gamer, Lauren’s friends raised the alarm after she failed to log onto the game Evony: The King’s Return, for 48 hours, which was unusual.

Ms Black — who was the mother of two young twin boys — went by the online name Val and her gaming friend from Israel, Eyal Elhadad, said he contacted Scottish police after becoming worried and suspecting something was wrong.

He told the Daily Record: “Lauren and I have spoken every day for the last four years, so for her not to answer my messages or log onto the game was very worrying to me and other online family members.

“It was very out of character for Lauren. We exchanged messages on New Year’s Day and then there was no further communication.

“After not being able to get in contact for almost two days I had no choice but to call the police in Scotland and also her dog walker.

“I pleaded with them to check on her as we were all so worried. I just wanted to know she was okay.”

Police Scotland are currently investigating Lauren’s death, which they are treating as “unexplained”.

Iris Black is Lauren’s mum and lives in Northern Ireland. “I am beyond devastated by what has happened,” she said.

“Our family are just so glad we were able to spend Christmas with Lauren. Her health has been in decline for a while now and we think it might be as a result of long Covid.

“The full details of what happened have yet to be made clear to us.”

Lauren’s uncle Ivan is helping to look after her sons.

“I am in disbelief at what has happened to be honest,” he said.

“It’s so hard to take in and we know dealing with what’s happened is going to be a long road ahead.

“Lauren was totally dedicated to her boys and our family’s priority right now is making sure they are okay.”

Many of Lauren’s online gaming friends are now hoping to attend her funeral.

Mr Elhadad said: “I was devastated when I found out she had died. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.

“At the moment there are hundreds of people around the world crying over her passing. The outpouring of love I have seen has been incredible. So many of us want to pay our respects. People are willing to travel hundreds of miles to say goodbye to Lauren. She was so loved and liked.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We were made aware of the death of a woman at a property on Edgar Crescent in Renfrew around 10.10am on Tuesday, January 3.

“The death is being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing.”

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