Sussex

Friston couple's family 'shocked by loss'

Friston body scene
Image caption The body of Mrs Phelps was found at the home the couple shared near Friston

The family of a couple whose bodies were found in East Sussex have said they are "shocked and saddened" by their deaths.

The body of Jennifer Phelps, 64, was found in the bedroom of her home near Friston on Monday after a car was found abandoned near Beachy Head.

The body of her husband, John, also 64, was then found at the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head.

A post mortem examination revealed Mrs Phelps was strangled.

Sussex Police said it was treating the deaths as a murder and suicide.

'Sadly missed'

"They were a loving couple, married for more than 40 years, were devoted to each other and to their family," the family said in a statement.

"We loved them dearly and they are sadly missed."

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Det Insp Carwyn Hughes said the incident appeared to be a "tragic series of events".

Forensic teams remained at the property on Tuesday.

Neighbour Karen Heathfield, 51, said: "They were lovely, lovely neighbours.

"It's just awful what's happened. They have got family and they are going to have to spend time coming to terms with this."

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