Boy, 14, ‘took his own life’ days after the first anniversary of his mum’s death

A 14-year-old schoolboy is believed to have taken his own life just days after the first anniversary of his mother’s death from cancer.

Tragic Kayden Cantlow was killed last Wednesday when he was struck by a train.

His devastated family say he was able to get through the barriers onto an overpass in order to take his own life.

Kayden’s death came just three days after the first anniversary of mum Michelle’s death from cancer, aged just 45.

Now, Kayden’s dad and older brother Francis, 17, are campaigning to encourage others to open up and talk about their mental health.

The family, from Colchester, Essex, want to install a large board on the railway bridge with contact details for the Samaritans.

They have also set up a petition to try and get more barriers put up around the overpass – which links St Anne’s and St John’s in Colchester – to make it more difficult for people to access it.

Kayden, a pupil at The Gilberd School in Colchester, was the youngest of six children – with older brothers Alex, 26, Jordan, 22, Nathan, 18, and Francis, 17, and sister Sapphire, 15.

His brother Francis said: “He was always a mummy’s boy. He just wanted to be with his mum again.

“We have spoken to people at The Gilberd School where he went and they have said every bit of footage they have of him, he is grinning and laughing with all his friends.

“He was not being bullied or anything like that – it was nothing from the outside.

He was quiet but popular. He always had a smile on his face.

“He found a way of getting through the barriers, so I need to bring awareness to that and get it fixed.

“If we can get it fixed here then I want to move on and do more and make it safe.

“I also want to make it normal for people to talk about their mental health.

Men especially find it difficult and tend to bottle it up. That is what happened with Kayden.

“If you keep things bottled up then eventually it will explode. You can’t keep putting things into an already full bottle.”


Francis has already been in touch with councillors about the safety issue and is determined to talk about mental health issues in primary schools once they reopen.

And Kayden’s dad Vinny, 49, added that the family had no inkling anything was wrong last Wednesday before Kayden died – and said his son had even posted a letter for him as a favour.

Vinny said: “He was a quiet lad but he always had a smile.

“He decided to go be with his mum, he just wanted to be back in her arms.

“Us sitting around moping is just not going to help anyone. If we can get some awareness out there and help even one person then it will be worth it.

“If one person is feeling low and sees the number of someone they can talk to, then we have made a difference.

It is what Kayden would have wanted. He was always so kind and helpful.”

Just days before Kayden’s death, Vinny had posted an emotional tribute on Facebook to his wife Michelle, a year on from her death.

Sharing a photo of her, he had written: “Today is the first anniversary of the passing of my beautiful wife Michelle.

“Not a day passes that I don’t think of her or talk about her. She is always in my thoughts and my love is as strong as always.

“Miss you so much darling and I hope I’m making you proud. Love you so much.”

The family are now determined to keep the area around the bridge as a memorial and are planning to install benches dedicated to Kayden and Michelle.

Two memorials have been set up with flowers left at the bottom of the bridge and dozens of messages written on it from wellwishers after friends and family scrubbed graffiti away to make room.

Francis’ petition for safer barriers around the overpass has already gained over 2,500 signatures.

And a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend to support the Cantlow family has raised over £2,000 in less than a week.

Meanwhile on social media, the family are tagging any posts about Kayden with the hashtag #KaydensWorld – as part of their pledge to get people talking.

A petition has been set up calling for a safer railway bridge in the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.