Mother questioned over body of young boy in cellar
Published 24/09/2011 | 05:00
A mother of eight is being questioned in connection with the death of a child that may have lain undiscovered in the cellar of the family home for up to two years.
The family was known to social workers.
The heavily decomposed body of a boy, believed to be aged three-and-a-half, was found at the home in a quiet cul-de-sac in a suburb of Bradford on Wednesday.
Police said a 41-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man had been arrested. No one else was being sought in connection with the discovery.
Kath Tunstall, strategic director for children's services at Bradford Council, confirmed: "Over the years the family has received services from a range of agencies, as do many other families across the country.
"An independent investigation known as a serious case review will be held as is the standard procedure when there is a death of a child, which is always a tragedy."
Police were called to the address after neighbours spotted a dishevelled-looking child at one of the home's dormer windows. It is believed the family had been living in the mid-terrace house for two years.
Neighbours spoke of their shock at the discovery. One said the woman, who had not been seen in recent days, was often spotted going shopping.
A former neighbour described the mother as "lovely" and "caring" but said she had alcohol problems after the death of her mother.
Another neighbour said: "The curtains were always drawn and the Venetian blinds down as long as I can remember, but the kids seemed to go to school as normal and I would see her coming and going by taxi."
Further tests are being carried out on the remains to establish an exact time of death and to identify the boy. (© Independent News Service)