Inquest returns narrative verdict into deaths of grandmother and grandson at lake near Stamford
An inquest into the deaths of a grandmother and her six-year-old grandson whose bodies were found in a lake near Stamford has returned a narrative verdict.
Seventy-one-year-old Dawn Mullany, of Castle Bytham, and Laurence Mullany-Mills, from Ketton, Rutland, were found dead in Holywell Lake in February.
Post mortem examinations found the cause of death to be drowning.
The coroner concluded that enquiries had found no suspicious circumstances, but that the exact circumstances surrounding their deaths could not be established.
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The inquest heard that Lincolnshire Police were called at around 9.20pm on Thursday, February 16, by Laurence's mother, who was concerned for the welfare of her son and Mrs Mullany.
Laurence had gone to stay with his grandmother and had been due back at Ketton some time earlier.
Officers checked Mrs Mullany's house in Castle Bytham and established that no one was home.
A search was launched, with support from an RAF helicopter, and at 10pm Mrs Mullany's car was discovered close to Holywell Lake.
Her body was found in the lake a short time later.
Just before 4am the following morning Laurence's body was also found in the water.
Police enquiries and a post mortem were carried out and there were found to be no suspicious circumstances.
DCI David Wood said that evidence suggested Mrs Mullany and Laurence had gone to the lake to feed the ducks.
He 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 that the conclusion of the inquest process enables them, in some sense, to move forward."
He thanked the police officers who conducted the searches and enquiries and praised them for acting 'extremely professionally in very difficult circumstances'.
DCI Wood also said the accident 'clearly demonstrates' the dangers of bodies of water, particularly in the winter months when the water temperature is low.
"We would urge anyone with young children to consider these risks," he added.
A statement released by the family said the accident had taken away 'two wonderful people'.
It 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."