Older man and woman deaths near Friston/Beachy Head - suspected murder suicide

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POLICE are investigating a suspected murder suicide after a man’s body was found at the bottom of the cliffs at Beachy Head - before a woman was discovered dead at her house near Friston yesterday, March 14.

A walker found an abandoned car in Crowlink Lane near the cliffs at 9am and told police. A search was immediately launched involving coastguards with the Newhaven Severn Class lifeboat and the Sussex Police helicopter.

Searchers found a pile of clothes near the scene. The body of the 64-year-old man was discovered at 1.20pm lying at the bottom of the cliff at Flagstaff Point, close to Crowlink.

Coastguards were lowered down the cliffs to liase with two lifeboat crew who came ashore in a ‘Y’ boat. The man’s body was then put on a stretcher and taken to the lifeboat waiting offshore before heading to Newhaven Harbour to meet police scenes-of-crime officers and a coroner.

Meanwhile police searched the car and found an address that led them to a house near Friston village, two miles away.

After entering the home they discovered the body of a 64-year-old woman in her bedroom. The cause of her death is not yet known and the coroner has been informed about both deaths.

Detective Inspector Carwyn Hughes, Major Crime Branch, said: “This appears to be a tragic series of events.

“We are investigating it as a likely murder suicide and are not looking for anyone else at this time. Our sympathies go to members of the family.”

Chief Inspector Richard Coates, the Wealden District Commander, called it a ‘very tragic incident’.

He said: “This is a very sad event and members of my local neighbourhood team will be on hand in the Friston area over the coming days if any members of the public would like to pass on information or discuss local issues with them.”

An investigation has now been launched and anyone with information is asked to phone detectives on 0845 60 70 999, quoting Operation Stowe.