Tests reveal suicide mum’s daughter, 4, had drowned

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A LITTLE girl found dead at her home the same day her mother plunged to her death at Birling Gap had drowned, according to final tests.

Four-year-old Keira Madden was found in the family home in Bognor Regis on July 3.

A suicide note found next to her body from her mother Cathy Madden said Keira had slipped on a rock at the beach and drowned in the sea.

Police officers had rushed to the house when Mrs Madden jumped to her death from cliffs moments after chaplains had tried to coax her away. Her car had also been found abandoned at the beauty spot.

Extensive tests were carried out to find how the little girl died and this week, following a post mortem, more tests and analysis, Sussex Police said Keira had drowned.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “In drowning cases, it is extremely difficult to establish this as the cause of death beyond reasonable doubt. However, the Home Office pathologist who carried out the post mortem and considered the test results concluded that, on the balance of probability, the cause of her death is likely to have been drowning.

“A detailed toxicology report also found traces of marine diatoms, a factor to be considered by the coroner.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Sloan said, “This has been a long and difficult investigation into the tragic death of a child and her mother. Although we’ll never know the full circumstances leading up to Keira’s death, this development and the coroner’s inquest will hopefully give Keira’s family some answers on this very sad series of events.”

The criminal investigation will now be closed and evidence collected by police provided to an inquest held by the West Sussex coroner.

Keira’s father, a self-employed computer expert living and working in Germany, returned to the UK every three weeks for access visits to Keira, the only child from the couple’s nine-year marriage.