Woman held after children found dead

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The Independent Online

43-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder after bodies were found in a car

A 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery in Mill Close, Heathfield, East Sussex, at 11.46am.

The woman, believed to be from Surrey but with local connections, was held after visiting Heathfield police station to report "an incident", Sussex Police said.

Police officers subsequently found the bodies of a boy and a girl, both aged under five, after forcing entry into a car.

A police spokesman said: "An investigation is now under way and the area around the scene is cordoned off."



Chief Inspector Julia Pope, Wealden district policing commander, said: "This is a very tragic incident, but I would like to reassure people that it is fully contained and there is no threat to anyone in the area.

"We will move to restore normality and access to Mill Close as quickly as possible but, in the meantime, I have local officers in the area and residents are more than welcome to talk to them if they have any concerns."



Sources said the woman arrested was the children's mother.

Police believe they know the identities of the dead children but they have not been formally identified.

The suspect, who has yet to be interviewed, was taken to the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Post-mortem examinations are due to take place tomorrow when identities are expected to be released.

Mill Close resident Ian Paseka said: "The crime scene is all cordoned off. There is police tape and a police car and two policemen here.

"It's terrible. This is an upper-middle class residential area with no crime whatsoever. We've never had a burglary."



Heathfield and its neighbouring parish of Waldron has a population of around 11,500 and is surrounded by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We sent an ambulance and two response cars but sadly two young children were pronounced dead at the scene."