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Tributes as mum Charlotte Bevan and newborn baby found dead at cliff

By Staff Reporter

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 on Wednesday 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 on Tuesday night and located the body of her daughter near by yesterday 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 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.

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