THE uncle of murdered schoolgirl Jodi Jones has committed suicide.
Eddie Jones was found dead at his house in Dalkeith, though it has not yet been revealed how he died. His body was found just days after the first anniversary of his niece’s death.
The 54-year-old was thought to have been battling personal problems before his death three weeks ago.
The death is the third tragedy to hit the family. Jodi’s father, James, 39, hanged himself in 1998. His 14-year-old daughter is now buried beside him at nearby Gorebridge Cemetery.
Jodi’s mother Judy, 39, brother Joseph, 20, and her sister Janine, 19, were said to be "shattered" by the latest tragedy.
A family friend said: "Judy and the rest of the family have had a hellish year. When this happened it just turned into an even bigger nightmare for them.
"No one can believe the horrible time they are having and they are just totally devastated.
"It has been such a bad time for the family and this heaps more misery on them at a very difficult time.
"His death happened three weeks ago and I think the family had hoped it would pass over quietly."
A police spokesman said: "I can confirm that the body of a 54-year-old man was found at an address in Gorebridge on July 2. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal."
Jodi, 14, of Easthouses, Dalkeith, Midlothian, went missing on June 30 last year after leaving her home to visit a friend.
When she failed to return later that evening, her mother became concerned and started a search with family and friends.
A short time later, Jodi’s mutilated body was found in a secluded area of woodland next to the Roman Dyke path, just a few hundred yards from her front door.
More than 40 police officers took part in the murder inquiry and spoke to about 3000 people in one of the biggest police investigations ever seen in Scotland.
Jodi was laid to rest last September in a service featuring music by her favourite rock band, Nirvana. On the morning of her funeral, hundreds of locals from Dalkeith, Easthouses and Gorebridge gathered in the streets around her home to pay their respects.
A memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the former St David’s High School pupil was held at the school last month.
Floral tributes, including Jodi’s favourite sunflowers, were laid at her grave in Gorebridge Cemetery.
Her family remained at home for the ceremony.
Jodi’s boyfriend Luke Mitchell, 16, was arrested in April and charged with murder. He is due to stand trial later this year.
The 45-year-old mother of the accused schoolboy has also been arrested in connection with the case and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Last month, a memorial service was held to mark the first anniversary of Jodi’s death.