Jay Whiston: Funeral after Colchester house party stabbing
The funeral of a teenager who was stabbed at a house party in Colchester has taken place in Essex.
Jay Whiston, 17, from Clacton, died from a stab wound to the heart at the party in Marlowe Way on 8 September.
His body arrived at Weeley Crematorium by horse and carriage, with a blue coffin adorned with the Cookie Monster character from TV show Sesame Street.
Family members and hundreds of Jay's friends from Tendring Technology College attended the funeral.
Five teenagers have been arrested and bailed on suspicion of Jay's murder.
An inquest into his death heard up to 150 children aged between 15 and 17 had been at the house party at which Jay was killed.
The party had been gate-crashed after details were posted on the internet.
Coroner's officer Paul Roberts told the hearing there had been an "altercation" at the "rear side" of the property. He said the A-level student collapsed outside a neighbouring property.
Police said messages sent on Facebook and Twitter played a "significant role" in events leading up to the boy's death.
Police are still hunting for the weapon used in the killing, believed to be a knife.
The Reverend Alan Wright led the family members into the crematorium, with the funeral service opening with the hymn The Lord is my Shepherd.
A photograph of Jay and a picture of the Cookie Monster were printed on the back of the funeral programme, along with a statement which said: "Jay's family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, support and care at this very sad time."
Mourners are attending a funeral wake at the Blacksmith's Arms in Little Clacton.
Following the stabbing, Jay's Mother Caroline Shearer said her son was gentle and caring and she was now having to battle against the "silence" that filled the family's home.