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Couple who jumped with dead son are named

A grieving couple who placed the body of their dead son in a rucksack before plunging to their deaths from cliffs at Beachy Head were named today by police.

Neil Puttick, 34, from Westbury in Wiltshire, died alongside his Japanese wife Kazumi, 44. Their son was named as Samuel Puttick, aged five.

Samuel, who was seriously ill, had been discharged from hospital on Friday after being given no hope of survival.

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset NHS said: "Samuel Puttick had been receiving treatment for pneumococcal meningitis at the Paediatric Intensive Children's Unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

"When it became clear that Sam had no hope of recovery from his severe infection, he was discharged to his family home on Friday at his parents' request to die peacefully.

"He was certified dead at his home by a doctor at approximately 8pm that evening.

"We offer our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of this family.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage as the matter will be the subject of an extensive investigation and coroner's inquest."

Detective Inspector Ian Williams from Sussex Police said: "As a result of our investigation I am satisfied that Samuel's grieving parents Neil and Kazumi appear to have taken their own lives.

"This is a tragic incident and we extend our sympathies to their family and to the large number of friends and carers affected."

Samuel's body was found yesterday in a rucksack about 400ft down the notorious suicide spot, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, alongside his parents' bodies.

A second rucksack found by rescuers nearby was filled with toys.

Events began to unfold at 8.20pm on Sunday when coastguards on routine patrol saw what they thought were two bodies part-way down the cliff-face.

A decision was taken at the time to wait until the following day for the recovery operation to take place because of the tide and failing light.

But when the search resumed at 8am yesterday, Eastbourne Coastguard station officer Stuart McNab said they discovered the two rucksacks, one containing the body of a child aged around five.

Speaking at the cliff-top yesterday, Mr McNab said: "The bag was closed when I got to it. I saw what I thought was a doll's head, but on closer examination it was a child."

He said the second rucksack contained toys, including a tractor and soft toys.

A silver Volkswagen camper van found abandoned in a car park nearby was also recovered and is undergoing forensic examination.

At more than 500ft high, Beachy Head is renowned for its downland beauty but it has also gained infamy as a magnet for suicidal people.