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A teenager has received a message from 'beyond the grave' from a pal who drowned in a canal.
19-year-old Taylor McCormac from Essex got a Build-a-Bear for Christmas with a voice recording of her friend Rodney Zinoro who tragically drowned in a canal in May 2020.
In a video that millions of people on TikTok have since watched, Taylor is seen pressing the teddy bear's hand before Rodney's voice is heard, with Taylor becoming overwhelmed by emotion, reports EssexLive.
Taylor said: "The fact that his voice is in a teddy, it's just so pure and I can hug it and listen to it when I'm sad, so I think I was just happy."
The video racked up thousands of views with many TikTok users sharing messages of love and support.
Taylor's friend Rodney was found dead in May 2020 when his body was recovered from a canal in Greater Manchester.
The duo had been best friends and stayed in close contact even when Rodney moved to Manchester from Essex a few years before his death.
Taylor described Rodney as a "genuine person" who would "literally light up a room as soon as he walked in".
Taylor received the Build-a-Bear teddy from her little sister Maddie for Christmas last year.
She named the adorable gift after her best friend Rodney, as she opened up about how the teddy supported her when she struggled with her mental health after she found it difficult to process his passing.
She said: "If I'm sad, I can just talk to it because it's got his voice. It's not him, but it's him to me."
Nobody knows what happened to Rodney, with a Home Office post mortem concluding that Rodney died as a result of drowning with no injuries as a result of third party involvement.
Rodney's body was repatriated to Zimbabwe, where he was originally from, so his funeral could take place in September 2020.
A memorial has also been created at the Bridgewater canal in Manchester and another in Southend-on-Sea in honour of his name.
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