Elderly couple's children shocked after Bexhill deaths

Audrey Taylor with her pet dog
Image caption Police said the death of the couple's dog could be key

The family of an elderly couple who were found dead in their Sussex home by neighbours have expressed their shock and disbelief at the deaths.

Don and Audrey Taylor, who were in their 70s, were found at their house in Collington Rise, Bexhill, last week.

A post-mortem examination showed Mrs Taylor died of manual strangulation and Mr Taylor died from hanging.

In a tribute, their son and daughter said their mother was an inspiration and "very strong and protective".

"She was extremely protective of us both and we grew up to be supported within her close, large family," a statement said.

They said they remembered their mother as "a warm, friendly woman who always had a smile on her face and a light-hearted attitude towards life".

"Mum's constant companion over the past 12 years had been Rowan, her adorable miniature poodle, who never left her side and was her faithful friend."

'Carefree and fun-loving'

The couple's children, whose names have not been released, said their parents marriage was not without its problems.

"Our father, although a clever and hard-working man, was not as carefree and fun-loving as our mum.

"Over the years he became a successful businessman... however, he never found himself able to fully enjoy the fruits of his labour."

Officers investigating the deaths of Mr and Mrs Taylor have said the death of a pet dog found in the house could hold the key to what happened.

They said they were not looking for a third party in connection with the deaths, and were working on the theory that Mr Taylor murdered his wife and then took his own life.

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