Troedyrhiw deaths: Joanne Thomas and baby post mortem tests due

Joanne Thomas with her daughter Harper
Image caption Joanne Thomas, 27, and baby Harper had only lived in the house for a few weeks, neighbours said

Police hoping for answers as to why a mother and her four-month-old baby died are awaiting the results of medical tests and post-mortem examinations.

Joanne Thomas, 27, and her daughter Harper were found dead at a house in the village of Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Tydfil, on Wednesday.

Officers are examining a number of lines of inquiry into the cause of the "unexplained" deaths.

They believe they had been dead for "some time".

But officers said they did not believe carbon monoxide played a part.

Neighbours said they had not seen Ms Thomas for several weeks and that washing was still on a clothes line outside her house.

The mother and her baby were only found after social services arrived at a house in Church Street, owned by Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, and could not get an answer at the door.

Concerned neighbour Sean Williams - who said he had not seen Ms Thomas for about four weeks - climbed onto a wheelie bin to look though a window and saw what he described as a "disturbing scene".

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Media captionNeighbour Sean Williams was shocked when he discovered the mother and baby dead

Police were then called and Mr Williams said they were able to open the unlocked front door straight away to get into the property at around 16:20 BST on Wednesday.

They cordoned off the street and forensic officers have been at the house trying to establish what may have caused the deaths.

Police are also appealing for the community to come forward with any information about the deaths, while house-to-house inquiries are continuing in the area.

Det Supt Paul Hurley of South Wales Police said: "We are still waiting for further medical tests to be carried out to determine what may have caused Joanne and Harper's death.

"We are currently examining a number of lines of inquiry to establish the circumstances of these tragic deaths and I can confirm the current evidence to date does not suggest that carbon monoxide is a factor in this case.

Image caption Forensics officer are carrying out examinations at the house

"We believe that Joanne and Harper may have been dead for some time. My appeal is for the community to try their best to recall anything that could be relevant from the past few weeks."

Flowers have been laid outside the house and neighbours have paid tribute to Ms Thomas.

They said that although she had lived at the property for a few months, when they spoke to her she was always pleasant.

Mr Williams said: "Joanne was a very nice girl who always had her baby with her."

Next door neighbour Yonni Bengorion, 45, added: "Joanne was a lovely lady and the baby was very bonny, very beautiful."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room which has been set up at Cardiff Central Police Station on 029 2052 7303, South Wales Police's 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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