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Family tributes for mother and baby

Family tributes have been paid to a mother and her newborn baby girl who were found dead after going missing from a maternity hospital.

Charlotte Bevan, 30, was captured on CCTV walking out of Bristol Maternity Hospital with Zaani Tiana Bevan Malbrouck at around 9pm on Tuesday.

Ms Bevan, who suffered from mental health issues, was wearing hospital slippers while her daughter was wrapped in just a blanket when they left in cold weather.

A walker alerted police at 8pm last night after spotting the white slippers and multi-coloured blanket on a fence on the cliff edge at the Avon Gorge in Bristol.

Officers discovered Ms Bevan's body on the cliff face last night and located the body of her daughter nearby this afternoon following "intensive" searches.

Ms Bevan's mother Rachel Fortune, 59, paid tribute to her daughter and granddaughter in a statement issued through Avon and Somerset Police.

"My beautiful daughter and granddaughter are now at peace," she said.

"The family would like to thank all the friends of Pascal, Charlotte and Zaani, some of whom we have only met today.

"We would also like to say thank you for all the messages from everyone."

Universities Hospitals Bristol Trust have launched an investigation into the care mother and baby received.

A spokeswoman said the review would assess "if there was anything we could have done to prevent this tragic and unexplained death."

But Mrs Fortune thanked staff at the hospital, situated around two miles from where the bodies were found.

"We wish to thank all the hospital staff at St Michael's and the mental healthcare team, past and present," she added.

"The response and support from the public has been overwhelming and we would like to thank you all.

"We would also like to give our thanks to Avon and Somerset police and the volunteers from Avon Search and Rescue."

Ms Bevan's partner Pascal Malbrouck left the hospital at around 8pm on Tuesday, with staff visiting the baby and new mother half an hour later.

They returned to check on Ms Bevan at 9.05pm and alerted police when they discovered she and Zaani had vanished.

Ms Bevan is believed to have suffered from schizophrenia, depression and sleep deprivation since giving birth.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, of Avon and Somerset Police, said a walker had found the slippers and blanket at around 12pm yesterday.

In a press conference overlooking the Avon Gorge, by Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge, Mr Crisp described the case as "dreadful, awful, frustrating".

"I regret to inform you that a short time ago on the cliff face close to Charlotte, the body of a small girl has been found," he said.

"No formal identification has so far taken place but we anticipate that it is going to be Charlotte's daughter.

"This is a dreadful, awful, frustrating business and our thoughts are with the family at this time."

Mr Crisp said police were now investigating the deaths of behalf of the coroner, adding that neither was being treated as suspicious.

He said he could not answer questions on whether Ms Bevan should have been more carefully monitored while in hospital.

The detective previously described Ms Bevan as a "good mother" and said she had been making "great progress" at the maternity unit.

Friends described Ms Bevan as part of a "happy couple" and described her disappearance as "out of character".

Hours before she disappeared, Ms Bevan posted a self-help video on her Facebook page called Get Through Positive and Negative Thinking Rough Patches.

Earlier this month she uploaded happy pictures of herself with her baby bump, smiling with Mr Malbrouck, on the social networking site.

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