Local officials have confirmed the death of a 16-year-old girl sent abroad for treatment under a care order by Government’s child protection services at a US treatment centre in Utah.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, the Ministry of Legal Affairs extended sincere condolences to the young girl’s family.

A spokeswoman said: “We regret to inform the public of the unfortunate passing of a child referred to an overseas facility for treatment.

But she said: “Out of respect for the family and the ongoing investigation into this matter, no further information will be provided at this time.

“We further call on all media outlets to operate in a professional, compassionate and respectful manner during this period of bereavement by the family.”

As first reported by TNN, questions have been sent “directly” to the Director of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and Ministry officials, asking: “Are we sending these young teenagers with many challenges to the right treatment facility?”

The DCFS is headed up by Alfred Maybury, who was suspended in August 2018, amid accusations that he was ignoring allegations about DCFS staff mistreating children in their care. He was also accused of not following official financial instructions.

Following a “thorough investigation” that found that the claims made against him were “not substantiated”, Mr Maybury returned to work in January.