Dartmoor Haytor deaths: Boy's body found after mother and son die

Katherine Hooper
Image caption Katherine Hooper's two-year-old son was found dead at her Paignton home

Police investigating the death of a woman and her son, who died in a fall from rocks on Dartmoor in Devon, have found a boy's body at her home.

The woman and five-year-old boy died falling between 80-100ft (24-30m) at Haytor, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A two-year-old boy's body was later found in Dukes Close, Paignton.

Police said the woman was believed to be Katherine Hooper, 24, and the dead children her sons Josh Patterson, aged five, and Sam Patterson, aged two.

A force spokesman said no formal identification had taken place but officers had begun a murder inquiry.

Police added that nobody else was being sought in connection with the deaths.

The force released a statement from Neil Patterson, saying he was "devastated" that the "three most important and cherished people in my life had been taken from me".

An air ambulance, a police helicopter, park rangers and members of the Dartmoor Rescue Group went to Haytor after an incident was reported shortly before 12:00 BST.

Image caption Haytor is one of Dartmoor's most famous landmarks

Acting Ch Insp Adrian Leisk, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said officers found two bodies when they arrived at the granite peak, which is more than 1,475ft (450m) above sea level.

Officers then went to the woman's home, where the body of the two-year-old boy was found.

Det Supt Paul Burgan said: "We are keeping an open mind about all three deaths. But at this stage we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident."

Image caption The body of a two-year-old boy was found at the family home in Paignton

The force said post-mortem examinations on all three involved in the "tragic incident" would be carried out.

Dartmoor Rescue Group said on Twitter that a team was "called to assist at a tragic incident at Haytor today".

It added: "Our thoughts are with the family."

Police have appealed for witnesses at Haytor to contact them.

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