Sussex

Eastbourne cliff plunge mother Cathy Madden left note

Cathy and Keira Madden
Image caption Cathy Madden's note claims her daughter died in an accident at sea

A mother who threw herself off a cliff at the same time her daughter's body was found at home left a note saying the four-year-old had drowned.

Cathy Madden was found at the bottom of the Seven Sisters cliffs, near Birling Gap, Eastbourne, on Saturday.

The body of her daughter, Keira, was found in Roundle Avenue, Felpham, Bognor, at about the same time.

Sussex Police said the note was found next to her daughter's body and was apparently written by Mrs Madden.

It claims the pair were at the beach the day before, on 2 July, and while in the water, Keira slipped and drowned.

Detectives want to hear from anyone who may have seen the mother and daughter between 1100 and 1600 BST on Friday.

Toxicology tests

They were known to visit the beaches at Felpham, Witterings, Climping and Pagham.

Chaplains had tried to coax Mrs Madden, 40, away from the cliff but she fell to her death.

At about the same time police linked her car, which had been abandoned nearby, to her home in West Sussex.

Inside the property they found the body of the little girl in a bedroom.

Police were unable to confirm whether Keira definitely drowned.

A post-mortem examination was inconclusive and officers are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to establish the cause of death.

Mrs Madden had been going through a divorce from the child's father, Steve Madden, a self-employed computer expert who lives and works in Germany.

He would come back to the UK every three weeks for access visits to see Keira.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites