Earlier this week Thomas Griffiths admitted killing Ellie Gould at Bristol Crown Court.
Ellie was found stabbed to death at her home in Springfield Drive, Calne on May 3rd. Friends have now revealed that Griffiths had wanted to be Ellie's boyfriend.
One source has told the Mail Online: "Thomas wanted to take the friendship to the next level, but Ellie didn't want a serious boyfriend.
"She was so involved with her riding and also worked as a waitress at weekends. There just wasn't time, and she told Thomas this."
Officers were called to the address by the ambulance service in May and within a short period of time, Griffiths had been identified, he was arrested seven miles away in Derry Hill. Griffiths initially denied seeing Ellie that day or in the days before her death
Wiltshire Police said it wasn't a random attack and Ellie and her killer knew each other.
Griffiths, spoke only to confirm his name and reply "guilty" when the murder charge was read to him at at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday morning.
Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, told the court that Griffiths had admitted an 'extremely grave crime' and that it was 'appropriate, reasonable and proportionate' for him to lift reporting restrictions that prevented the media from identifying Griffiths.
Griffiths was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on November 8.
In the days that followed Ellie's death, her family released the following tribute: “From a young age, Ellie had a huge love for animals. Every Spring we would visit Lackham during the lambing season, and during the summer holidays we made many visits to animal farms to hold chicks, rabbits and feed baby animals. On her first day at primary school she put holes in her brand new shoes as she spent every playtime playing with her friends crawling around on her hands and knees being a cat.
“Ellie also loved our summer trips to Devon to stay at our aunt and uncle’s house - she loved their puppy Elsa and whilst the other young cousins were scared of the lively puppy jumping up, Ellie wasn’t and had a wonderful way with animals, calming the puppy and making it do whatever she wanted.
“Every year from a young age, a pony always featured on her Christmas or Birthday wish lists. As her parents, we tried to get away with buying a hobby horse to run around the garden on. The pleas continued so we adopted an Exmoor Pony, however due to the distance, we could only visit twice a year. Finally we decided as we lived in beautiful rural Wiltshire, we’d buy her a pony - Missy.
“Missy was white with a long flowing mane and tail, she looked like a unicorn when she was white, although more often than not, she looked brown as she loved rolling in mud. Ellie spent hours brushing her and plaiting her mane and tail. She loved showing her off at local shows in ‘prettiest pony classes’ and was so proud one year to come first at Foxham show in the ‘best family pony class’.
“Ellie’s natural riding ability improved immensely and in no time she was ready to move onto her next pony - Blackjack. Again, winters and summers she competed in local shows and cross country events. It was nail biting to watch as she would gallop past and fly over enormous cross country jumps.
“She also spent the summer months often just herself and her beloved Blackjack hacking over Wiltshire’s beautiful countryside.
“Ellie loved the Sixth Form at school where she was studying for A Levels. She had built up a close group of friends who would often meet up at weekends and do activities such as the Escape Rooms. She would often ask if the group could meet at our house - “It’s just a gathering mum, not a party,” she’d say.
“We talked about visits to university open days and apprenticeships within the police force – she wondered if she could get into the mounted police with her riding skills. Whilst she was excited about the next step in her life she also said, “But I don’t want the sixth form to end as I love it so much”.
“Ellie had a lovely relationship with her older brother growing up, they rarely argued as she was fun loving and a joy to be around.
“We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful fun personality.
“Ellie’s favourite charity was Riding for the Disabled who run activities for disabled children and adults and we ask that any donations in Ellie’s memory are made to this charity so that they can continue with their fantastic work. This is what Ellie would have wanted."
After Thursday's hearing, Det Chief Insp Jim Taylor, of Wiltshire Police, said: “Ellie was murdered as a result of a violent attack.
“Ellie was in her first year of sixth form and was looking forward to the next steps in her education.
"Her parents have told me that she was considering a career in the police and had been looking into attending university.
"The options available to Ellie were endless but her hopes and dreams will now sadly never be realised.
“On the day Ellie was murdered, officers were able to quickly identify and arrest Griffiths.
"Although he initially denied having seen Ellie that day, or in the days before her death, he has today pleaded guilty to her murder.
“While I am pleased that Ellie’s family will not have to endure a lengthy trial process in court which would have caused them further distress, I know just how difficult this whole period has been for them.
"They should have been enjoying the school holidays with their daughter, but instead, they are coming to terms with the fact she has been cruelly taken away from them in unthinkable circumstances.
“From what they have told me, Ellie was an extremely popular, fun-loving, kind, gentle and caring girl.
"Her tragic death has shocked the community of Calne, as well as the many young people and teaching staff at Hardenhuish School, where Ellie was studying.
“Nothing will ever fill the void that Ellie’s death will leave in the lives of all those who knew her, but I hope that this outcome, and the upcoming sentencing, provides them with some comfort and enables them to concentrate on remembering Ellie and the many happy memories they have of her. My thoughts, and those of all at Wiltshire Police, remain with them.
“Finally, I’d like to thank all the officers and police staff involved in this investigation – their hard work enabled us to secure an early charge and put this individual before the courts today.”