Derby

Reservoir deaths: Child's cuddly toy found in search

Emma Sillett and Jenson Spellman Image copyright Derbyshire Police
Image caption The bodies of Emma Sillett and her son Jenson Spellman were found in Valehouse Reservoir

A child's cuddly toy was found at a reservoir where the bodies of a mother and her five-year-old son were discovered, an inquest has heard.

Social worker Emma Sillett and Jenson Spellman were found at Valehouse reservoir in Derbyshire two days after the boy's father reported them missing.

Police had already found Miss Sillett's car parked nearby and a child's cuddly toy and torch near the water's edge.

Their provisional causes of death have both been given as drowning.

Inquests into both of the deaths were opened and adjourned at Chesterfield Coroners Court.

The court heard Miss Sillett, 41, was a social worker in the adoptions team for Stockport social services, while her son was a pupil at Simmondley Primary School.

Image caption Police started searching Valehouse reservoir after being given further information from Jenson's father

Jenson's head teacher has previously described him as the "perfect child to have in your class".

Det Ch Insp Sally Blaiklock told the court that Miss Sillett and her son were reported missing by her partner John Spellman on the evening of 20 November.

CCTV at their home address in Dinting, Glossop, showed the mother and son leaving as usual at about 08:45 GMT that morning.

Police made extensive searches and found further CCTV of Miss Sillett taking her son to McDonald's between 12:30 and 13:30.

The following day, 21 November, police searched Valehouse reservoir after being given further information by Mr Spellman. They found Miss Sillett's car parked there at about 13:30.

Image copyright Glossop Chronicle
Image caption A police cordon had been in place near the reservoir

DCI Blaiklock said: "When the vehicle was discovered, officers immediately began searching around the water's edge and between 3pm and 3.30pm, several items were found near the water's edge, including a child's torch and a child's cuddly toy.

"At that time of day, it had gone dark and we were unable to search the water overnight."

Specialist officers and a water search team returned at 07:00 the following day, 22 November, and found two bodies at about 11:00. These were later identified by Mr Spellman at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The full inquest is likely to be held in February or March.

DCI Blaiklock confirmed that police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Image caption Flowers have been left outside Simmondley Primary School, where Jenson was the "perfect child to have in your class"

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

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