Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Pond pair deaths 'tragic accident'

The pond at Holywell village in Lincolnshire where a 71-year-old woman and her six-year-old grandson were found dead

Detectives are trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of a 71-year-old woman and her young grandson, who were found dead in a pond.

The pensioner, named in reports as Dawn Mullany, was pulled from the water in Holywell Village, Lincolnshire, on Thursday evening. She was pronounced dead at the scene, near Castle Bytham, despite resuscitation efforts at the water's edge.

Her six-year-old grandson, named locally as Laurence Mullany-Mills, was found in the duck pond some hours later, at around 4am on Friday. One theory is that Laurence fell into the water while feeding ducks and that his grandmother died while trying to rescue him.

The discovery of the bodies followed a search on land and by RAF helicopter after Laurence's mother raised the alarm when he did not return home from staying at his grandmother's house.

Police went to the elderly woman's address in Castle Bytham and when it was found no one was there a search began for the pair and Ms Mullany's car. At about 10.45pm officers found the car close to the pond and the two bodies were subsequently recovered from the water.

Lincolnshire Police said the deaths were not being treated as suspicious but would be investigated for a coroner's report. Detective Chief Inspector Dave Wood told the BBC: "We don't believe this is suspicious. We believe this is a tragic accident."

Post-mortem examinations were being carried out over the weekend and formal identifications are expected to be released on Monday.

The tragedy has shocked the community near Ms Mullany's home and neighbours in Stamford, Lincolnshire, where Laurence lived with his parents.

Ms Mullany's cleaner Hilary Barnsdale, 59, described her "great friend" as an "outgoing, bubbly and independent woman".

She said: "She was brilliant person who would do anything for anyone. She was very independent. I wouldn't have guessed she was 71. The news came as a shock to me and her friends in the village. Everybody knew her. She was a good person and a good friend."

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