Troedyrhiw mum Joanne Thomas and baby 'dead for some time'

  • 4 July 2013
  • From the section Wales
Media captionNeighbours say they had not seen Joanne Thomas for several weeks

Police investigating the "unexplained" deaths of a mother and her baby say they believe they may have been dead for "some time".

Joanne Thomas, 27, and her four-month-old daughter Harper were found dead at a house in the village of Troedyrhiw on Wednesday.

Officers are examining a number of lines of enquiry into the cause of the deaths.

But they said they did not believe carbon monoxide played a part.

They are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination and more medical tests are to be carried out to try to find out what caused the deaths, which are currently being treated as "unexplained".

A police cordon remains at Church Street, where the bodies were found, and forensic examinations of the scene are continuing.

House-to-house inquiries are also being carried out in the area and officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Meanwhile, neighbours have spoken of their concerns for Ms Thomas and her baby, who they said had not been seen for several weeks.

Sean Williams, 30, said he discovered that the mother and baby had died after climbing up to look through a bedroom window.

"I had to do something because we were all getting worried she hadn't been seen for weeks," he said.

"Social services couldn't gain entry so a few of the neighbours tried to get into the house around the back.

"The washing was still on the line. I climbed up on the wheelie bin and I saw everything through the window."

He added: "Joanne was a very nice girl who always had her baby with her."

Image caption Joanne Thomas, 27, and baby Harper had only lived in the house for a few weeks, neighbours said

Next door neighbour Yonni Bengorion, 45, said the community was still in shock.

"Joanne was a lovely lady and the baby was very bonny, very beautiful," he said.

"When the police arrived they just turned the handle of the front door and it opened straight away.

"Ambulance crews arrived really quickly but we heard that Joanne and her baby had been dead for several weeks."

The bodies of the mother and daughter were discovered by police on Wednesday after concerns were raised for their welfare.

Det Supt Paul Hurley of South Wales Police said he wanted to reassure the local community that they were doing everything possible to try to find out what happened.

""We are currently examining a number of lines of enquiry to establish the circumstances of these tragic deaths and I can confirm the current evidence to date does not suggest that carbon monoxide is a factor in this case," he said.

"We believe that Joanne and Harper may have been dead for some time.

"My appeal is for the community to try their best to recall anything that could be relevant from the past few weeks."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room which has been set up at Cardiff Central Police Station on 029 2052 7303, South Wales Police's 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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