Boy, six, and grandmother drowned in tragic accident
A six-year-old boy and his grandmother drowned in a tragic accident, an inquest heard yesterday.
Laurence Mullany-Mills, of Ketton, Rutland, and Dawn Mullany, 71, were found dead in Holywell Lake, near Stamford, Lincolnshire, in February.
It is thought the pensioner, from nearby Castle Bytham, and her grandson may have stopped at the beauty spot to feed the ducks on their journey back to the boy's home, after spending the day together.
Post-mortem examinations found the pair had drowned, but, despite police inquiries, it is still not known how they came to be in the water, the inquest heard.
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Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Professor Robert Forrest concluded there had been no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident and that the pair had drowned.
In a statement released by Lincolnshire Police following the hearing, the family of the pair said: "We have known for some time what the inquest would and would not be able to tell us.
"We will never exactly know what happened that day, other than a tragic accident that's taken away two wonderful people and beloved pillars of our family.
"Now we have to continue with the long and difficult journey that is rebuilding our lives, with the support of our family and friends and the loving memory of our years spent with Dawn and Laurie." Laurence's mother contacted police at about 9.20pm on February 16 after her son failed to return to their home in Ketton.
The youngster had gone to stay with his grandmother but had been due to return home earlier that day, the inquest held at Boston Magistrates' Court heard. A search was launched after officers found no-one home at Mrs Mullany's home in Castle Bytham.
Her car was found later that evening near to Holywell Lake. Her body was recovered from the water a short time later.
Laurence's body was found in the water in the early hours the next day.
Police inquiries and postmortem tests were carried out and there were found to be no suspicious circumstances.
Detective Chief Inspector David Wood said: "Our investigations have definitively found that no third party contributed to the death of Mrs Mullany and Laurence, but we are unable to say exactly why, or how, they both ended up in the water.
"This was an awful, tragic accident and our thoughts are with the family. We hope the conclusion of the inquest process enables them, in some sense, to move forward.
"I would like to thank the officers who conducted the searches and inquiries in this case. They acted extremely professionally in very difficult circumstances.
"Although we do not know how or why Mrs Mullany and Laurence came to be in the lake, this case clearly demonstrates the dangers of such bodies of water, particularly in the winter months when the water temperature is so low.
"We would urge anyone with young children to consider these risks."