Arrests after girl dies at campsite


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The Independent Online

The death of a six-year-old girl at a family campsite was being treated by police last night as "a tragic incident".

Witnesses said they were woken by a woman's screams and someone repeatedly pressing a car horn at about midnight. Others said the child's mother and father were trying to revive their daughter by giving her CPR.

A man, aged 30, and a woman, aged 40, were arrested on suspicion of murder but were released last night after a post-mortem revealed there were "no suspicious circumstances".

"The arrests made this morning were necessary as a result of a report from experienced medical professionals," a Hampshire Police spokeswoman said. "The girl's death is no longer being treated as suspicious but as a tragic incident."

The girl and her parents were said to be part of a group of families staying at the Holmsley Caravan Park and Campsite – a 600-pitch site in Bransgore, on the edge of the New Forest.

By the time paramedics arrived, the girl was fitting and not breathing. Medics gave her adrenaline before taking her to Southampton General Hospital but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Campers close to where the incident occurred were moved by police and the campsite was closed to new admissions.

Police have reassured other holidaymakers that no one else was at risk, but the mood at the campsite was unhappy with many families keen to leave.

One woman at the entrance told reporters: "We don't really want to stay any more and will be leaving. The mood in the campsite is really sombre." Jon Dale, of the Camping and Caravanning Club, which runs Holmsley, said campers were asked to stay whilst police investigated the matter.

Sergeant Heather McNicol said: "When a six-year-old child is found, then initially we have to think it's a suspicious death. But until there is a full post-mortem examination, we do not know what the cause of death was."

Police removed a blue Volkswagen Golf for examination. The girl's identity should be released today.