A family has issued an emotional appeal for information on the anniversary of a deliberate house fire which killed a mother and her young son.
Gina Ingles, 34, and her son Milo Ingles-Bailey, four, died in the blaze in Croxden Way, Eastbourne, which happened just before 1am on Tuesday July 10, 2018.
Gina’s partner Toby Jarrett, 27, was also in the house at the time of the fire, but managed to escape through a first floor window.
He suffered serious burn injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment. He has since been discharged.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident, and the victims’ family have directly appealed to the public to come forward with any new information.
Gina’s mother Jayne Ingles said in a statement, “Losing a child at any time is devastating, but losing my daughter Gina and grandson Milo in such a violent and sudden way has been very hard to come to terms with.
“The whole family are still in shock and we continue to grieve them. There is not a single day that goes by that we don’t think of them and miss them.
“Milo’s little cousins also miss Milo and Auntie Gina, and trying to explain that they have gone and that they will never see them again is heart-breaking.
“We tell them that Gina and Milo fly around the stars and sleep on the moon. The boys always say goodnight and blow kisses to the moon at bedtime.”
‘We feel cheated’
The statement said, “Losing Gina and Milo is something that we as a family will never ever get over. We feel cheated, angry and helpless that the person who committed this cowardice crime is still out there somewhere.
“Milo and Gina should still be here with us enjoying life. Milo would have been coming to the end of his first year at school. We would have been planning the summer and looking forward to spending time with them.
“We know we cannot bring Gina and Milo back but we also believe that someone, somewhere, may have more information about the arson attack or possibly even know who is responsible for it.
“We urge them please that any information, no matter how irrelevant they might think it may be, to please come forward to the police as it could help to catch the people who did this and hopefully prevent them from putting another family through the agony that we have endured over this last year.
“For us, it still feels like it happened yesterday.”
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, said, “In the past 12 months we have spoken to a number of people and followed up multiple lines of enquiry. We will continue to investigate any new information which comes to light.
“We are extremely grateful to the local community for their continued support and co-operation, and I would personally like to thank everyone who has come forward with any information to this date.
“However, we remain just as determined now as we were in July 2018 to locate the person – or people – responsible for this horrific offence and bring them to justice.
“This deliberate criminal act claimed the lives of a mother and her young son, and has severely affected the life of another man. We are certain that someone, somewhere, knows what happened that terrible morning, and why.”
Specifically, detectives are keen to locate the two people seen in CCTV footage, who may hold vital information about the fire.
Two local men, aged 47 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. The 23-year-old was released under investigation pending further enquiries.
The 47-year-old was released without charge and will face no further action.
Anyone with any information is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Druffield.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.