Stabbing Victim's Mother Found Out About Son's Death On Facebook

A British mother learned about her son's death while scrolling through her Facebook news feed.

Distraught mother Nicola Wardle first learned that her son Dylan Keelan, 20, had died when she was using the popular social media platform.

Keelan had been invited to a friend's 19th birthday party in Greater Manchester on February 4 and, despite having reservations about not knowing many people there, he was reassured by his girlfriend who told him to enjoy himself.

But Keelan was fatally stabbed in Cheetham Hill Road, in Dukinfield, at about 9.30 p.m., according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN).

Wardle did not learn her son had been killed until she scrolled through Facebook that same night.

According to the MEN, it was when she read a post that said "RIP Dylan" that she tried to find out what had happened. Police arrived later and formally told her that Dylan had been killed.

A 17-year-old boy, who could not be named for legal reasons, has since been charged with murder and threatening a person with a blade/ sharply pointed article in a public place.

"I was distraught. I was seeing 'RIP Dylan' and I was just like 'what?'" Wardle said during a press conference at the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) headquarters.

She added: "I kept ringing the police and then they came to inform me because they hadn't known who he was."

Nicola paid tribute to her son and added: "He always put me first. He got me a job, we went to work together, went to the gym together, cooked food together. He was a really nice lad and it's a big loss.

"It's hitting home now that he's not coming back ever."

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Jackson said in a March 15 statement: "I would like to start by sending my condolences to the loved ones of the four young men who have been fatally stabbed in our region this year, and others affected by violent crime.

"I echo Nichola's sentiments entirely and can assure parents, careers and anyone else who is concerned that fighting, preventing and reducing the use of weapons is one of GMP's highest priorities and that, across the force, police officers and staff are proactively working to keep people safe in a number of ways, working with partner agencies and communities; continuing our Forever Knife Amnesty; and stop searching.

In a bid to reduced the number of stabbings in Greater Manchester, police have launched the "Forever Knife Amnesty."

Under the scheme, knives can be deposited in special bins, which the police then collect and ensure are removed from the street.

There are 13 amnesty bins located across Greater Manchester, where people can anonymously leave their knives.

A GMP spokesperson told Newsweek 4,881 knives have been deposited in the amnesty bins since January 2020.

Sergeant Natasha Bryan from GMP said: "We are delighted that the campaign continues to be supported by our communities, and the number of knives deposited doesn't appear to be slowing down. The almost 5,000 knives deposited in two years is a fantastic result for Greater Manchester as any knife deposited is one less on our streets, and more importantly, one less that can be used as part of a crime.

"Despite the amnesty continuing to go from strength-to-strength, we can't afford to be complacent. It's vital that we continue to support and promote the amnesty across Greater Manchester and spread the word about the importance of the initiative."

Update 3/16/22, 12:28 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include comment from Greater Manchester Police.

Nicola Wardle standing next to knife bin
Nicola Wardle standing next to knife bin. Nicola learned about her son's death on Facebook. Police handout