Inquest investigates the sad suicides of three Aboriginal teenage girls

Grieving families may never get the answers they need after three teenage Aboriginal girls died in apparent 'suicides' in the space of a year. 

A coronial inquest into the deaths of Layla 'Gulum' Leering, 15, Keturah Cheralyn Mamarika, 16, and Fionica James, 17, began in Darwin on Wednesday.

All three girls were raped, one allegedly by three boys at once, at some point in their lives before killing themselves by hanging in 2016 and 2017.

Investigations were so bungled by police that Coroner Greg Cavanagh warned families the whole truth about their deaths may never be known.

Keturah was the first of the trio to die, found by her mother hanging from a ceiling fan in her family's home on the remote Groote Eyland island about 9am.

The body of 'Gulum' Leering, 15, (pictured) was found under a tree in December 2017, after she got drunk and a 15-year-old boy admitted to taking advantage of her

The body of 'Gulum' Leering, 15, (pictured) was found under a tree in December 2017, after she got drunk and a 15-year-old boy admitted to taking advantage of her

Just two hours earlier she was preening her hair and posting selfies to social media until her family went out. That was when she allegedly took her own life.

Post-mortem examinations found she had once been gang raped by three boys and the court heard she became sexually active at 12, the NT News reported.

Alex Ngalmi, her sister Jesselyn Mamarika partner, called Keturah his 'young wife' but denied having sex with her.

'I wasn't there when she passed away, I was in town,' he told police, having left at 7am along with Jesselyn.

Keturah's family cleaned the room where she died with bleach and a high-pressure hose the next day, and burned several items of furniture.

Layla died next, her body found under a tree in Bulla, near the Western Australian border, in December 2017.

She had vaginal injuries and 'plant material and debris was on her back, beneath her bra and T-shirt, between her buttocks and ­protruding from her anus'.

The inquest heard Layla was drunk the night she died and argued with her relative Jeremiah Laurie over a bottle of Jim Beam.

After initially lying to police, Adrian Davey, 15, admitted he took advantage of the 'drunk, maybe too drunk' teenager, but denied forcing her to have sex with him.

Her mother Justine Jingles (pictured) showed up to the inquest at Darwin Local Court, saying she wouldn't rest until she knew what happened in the girl's last hours

Her mother Justine Jingles (pictured) showed up to the inquest at Darwin Local Court, saying she wouldn't rest until

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