Neighbours in shock after couple found dead

Ben Mitchell,Press Association
Sunday 23 October 2011 04:31

Neighbours spoke of their shock today after the bodies of a married couple were discovered in their flat.

Police launched a major investigation after the man and woman, believed to be in their 30s, were found dead inside the property in Regal Court, High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, at 6.27pm yesterday.

A Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police spokeswoman said officers were investigating how and when they died.

Post-mortem examinations will take place in due course and the property was cordoned off while police made house-to-house inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs said: "It is very early stages in the investigation."

Neighbour Carol Rolfe said: "It's a surprise. They were just a normal, ordinary, quiet couple.

"I was in and I didn't see or hear anything."

The couple's two young sons were at home when the bodies were discovered, a police spokesman said.

He added that they were now being looked after by a friend of the family.

The spokesman said: "Officers were called by a member of the public at 6.27pm yesterday and went to the address, where a man and a woman, believed to be a married couple aged in their 30s, were pronounced dead.

"Two young children, who are believed to be the couple's sons, were inside the flat when police arrived yesterday.

"They were unharmed. Both children are now staying at a family friend's address where they are safe and well."

The spokesman said the death of the woman was being treated as "suspicious", while man's death was "non-suspicious".

He added: "Whilst retaining an open mind, detectives are not looking for anyone else suspected of being directly responsible for the deaths.

"The flat remains sealed off to allow for ongoing forensic examinations by specialist scenes of crime officers."

Post-mortem examinations are set to be carried out later and the Isle of Wight Coroner has been informed of the deaths, the spokesman said.

He added that efforts were currently being made by detectives to trace the couple's next of kin in order for the bodies to be formally identified.