Woman arrested over river deaths of eight-year-olds

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The Independent Online
A woman who was looking after two eight-year-old girls when they drowned during a riverbank birthday barbecue has been arrested in connection with the investigation into their deaths, it emerged yesterday.

Detectives arrested the 40-year-old woman three days after Charlea Fox and her best friend Jasmine Neville died in the River Wharfe in Otley, West Yorkshire. Yesterday police stressed that the deaths of the children, who got into difficulties as they paddled in the water, were not suspicious. It is understood that the woman, who was arrested on Thursday and taken to Weetwood police station in Leeds, was questioned over allegations of neglect. She was later released on police bail.

The two girls, from Burley, Leeds, went to the beauty spot last Monday with six others, including Charlea's parents, the woman who was arrested and her nine-year-old son, to celebrate Charlea's birthday. During the evening the woman, who had been left in charge of the children, raised the alarm when she realised they had disappeared. An inquest into the deaths will open in Leeds this Monday.