Woman and baby deaths at Troedyrhiw house 'unexplained'

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Media captionOfficers discovered the deaths on Wednesday

Detectives investigating the deaths of a woman and her baby at house in a village near Merthyr Tydfil say they are "unexplained".

The bodies were found after police were called to an address at Church Street in Troedyrhiw on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman has been named locally as Joanne Thomas, who was in her late 20s, and her daughter, Harper, who was about six months old.

Police have been carrying out a forensics examination of the scene.

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Media captionThe bodies were found on Wednesday afternoon.

The Health and Safety Executive said it is making initial inquiries.

The street remains cordoned off while investigations, including a forensics examination of the property as well as house-to-house inquiries, continue.

The woman's next of kin have been informed and family liaison officers are providing support, police said.

A neighbour told BBC Wales he believed Ms Thomas was aged in her late 20s and that her daughter was about six months old.

Det Supt Paul Hurley, of South Wales Police specialist crime investigations team, said his officers wanted to hear from anyone who could help them understand the circumstances leading up to the discovery of the bodies.

He said: "Troedyrhiw is a close-knit community in Merthyr Tydfil and local people are obviously shocked.

"We have a team of officers at the scene and in the community looking for information that may assist our inquiries.

"We would like to hear from anyone who has seen or heard anything suspicious or unusual in Church Street in recent weeks.

Image caption The street in Troedyrhiw, near Merthyr Tydfil, has been cordoned off by police

"The information may seem insignificant but could be important to the investigation."

Police say the bodies were discovered after officers were called to the property, owned by Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, at around 16:20 BST on Wednesday.

Flowers were laid at the scene on Thursday morning.

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Media caption'It's a massive shock for us all"

Councillor Harvey Jones, who represents the Plymouth ward on Merthyr Tydfil council which includes Troedyrhiw, said he was shocked to hear news of the deaths.

"Troedyrhiw is a very respectable area," said Mr Jones, who is also the council's cabinet member for schools.

"No doubt everyone in the community and in the wider part of the borough will be shocked by this. It's very sad news."

Anyone with information is asked contact South Wales Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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