Mother and 3-month-old baby found dead at home in South Wales
27-year-old mother-of-three Joanne Thomas reportedly suffered from depression and was not seen in weeks
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Thursday 04 July 2013
A young mother of three and her new baby have been found dead in their home in South Wales.
Local police are treating the incident as “unexplained” after the bodies of 27-year-old Joanne Thomas and her 12-week-old daughter were discovered in the close-knit community of Troedyrhiw, near Merthyr Tydfil.
Neighbours of the deceased said today that Miss Thomas had been struggling with depression and was not seen outside the house for six weeks, when she had gone to visit family with her newborn child.
Yonni Bengorion, 45, who lived next door to Miss Thomas, said: "She moved in here about three months ago and was very pleasant. Her baby was a beautiful girl. Joanne had problems with depression. The ambulance has been called out here a number of times with her being unconscious.”
"I became concerned when I had not seen her for a few weeks and I noticed her washing was still on the line. I knocked the door a few times, but did not get an answer. I've later discovered that her door had been unlocked the whole time. This is such a tragedy."
Police forensic teams were on the scene today, trained family liaison officers are supporting the next of kin and post-mortem examinations have been arranged. The pair were found when social services raised the alarm yesterday.
Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley, of the South Wales Police’s specialist crime investigations team, said his officers were seeking any information that could help them understand the circumstances leading up to their discovery.
"Troedyrhiw is a close-knit community in Merthyr Tydfil and local people are obviously shocked,” he said. “We have a team of officers at the scene and in the community looking for information that may assist our inquiries. We would like to hear from anyone who has seen or heard anything suspicious or unusual in Church Street in recent weeks. The information may seem insignificant but could be important to the investigation."
Mr Bengorion added that Miss Thomas had two older children who would sometimes stay with her at weekends. “Joanne told me she was happy to come live here because it was a fresh start for her."
Another neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said her family would visit regularly, but stopped coming following a disagreement a number of weeks ago. “She had two older children who would be around on the weekend,” she said.
“I don't know where she was from. I think her family were from the Merthyr or Caerphilly area - but she spoke with a local accent. Her mother is completely devastated herself though.”
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