Cud­dly toy led po­lice to find bod­ies

Miss­ing 5-year-old and mum dis­cov­ered in reser­voir

Stockport Express - - Front Page - CHAR­LOTTE DOB­SON

ACHILD’S cud­dly toy found by the wa­ter’s edge led po­lice to find the bod­ies of a miss­ing fiveyear-old and his mum in a reser­voir, an in­quest heard.

Hear­ings into the deaths of Stock­port so­cial worker Emma Sil­lett and her son Jen­son Spell­man, the sub­jects of a mas­sive miss­ing per­sons search last week, have for­mally been opened.

Emma, 41, and Jen­son, (pic­tured right) were last seen at a McDon­ald’s restau­rant on Tues­day, Novem­ber 20. Their bod­ies were found the next day. Jen­son’s fa­ther John Spell­man raised the alarm af­ter his part­ner and child failed to re­turn home that evening.

Ch­ester­field Coro­ner’s Court heard of­fi­cers found the mum’s black Peu­geot 308 at the Vale­house reser­voir, near Tin­twistle, Der­byshire the fol­low­ing day. Dur­ing a search, a cud­dly toy and child’s torch were spot­ted by the wa­ter’s edge. As dark­ness fell, the search was called off. A spe­cial­ist un­der­wa­ter team dis­cov­ered the two bod­ies when they re­turned to the scene the next day.

ACHILD’S cud­dly toy and torch found by the wa­ter’s edge led po­lice to find the bod­ies of a miss­ing five-year-old and his mum in a reser­voir, an in­quest heard.

Hear­ings into the deaths of Stock­port so­cial worker Emma Sil­lett and her son Jen­son Spell­man, the sub­jects of a mas­sive miss­ing per­sons’ search last week, have for­mally been opened.

Emma, 41, and Jen­son, were last seen at a McDon­ald’s restau­rant near their home on Tues­day, Novem­ber 20.

Jen­son’s fa­ther John Spell­man raised the alarm af­ter his part­ner and child failed to re­turn home that evening.

Ch­ester­field Coro­ner’s Court heard of­fi­cers found the mum’s black Peu­geot 308 at the Vale­house reser­voir, near Tin­twistle, Der­byshire the fol­low­ing day.

Dur­ing a search, a cud­dly toy and child’s torch were spot­ted by the wa­ter’s edge. As dark­ness fell, the search was called off.

A spe­cial­ist un­der­wa­ter team dis­cov­ered the two bod­ies when they re­turned to the scene the next day.

Post­mortems in­di­cate the mother and son drowned, the in­quest heard.

The reser­voir is less than three miles from the home Emma shared with John and their lit­tle boy in the vil­lage of Dint­ing, near Glos­sop.

De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Sally Blaik­lock told the court Emma and Jen­son were seen on CCTV leav­ing the house at 8.45am on Novem­ber 20.

But Jen­son did not make it to Sim­mond­ley Pri­mary School in Glos­sop. He was caught on CCTV at a McDon­ald’s in Hat­ter­s­ley, just a few miles from home that lunchtime. The mother and son stayed for an hour be­fore driving off. Nei­ther were seen alive again.

Con­cerned when they did not re­turn home, Mr Spell­man rang 999 at 11.30pm and re­ported both as miss­ing, the hear­ing was told.

Po­lice spoke to him again the next day and the in­for­ma­tion he gave them led of­fi­cers to the de­serted reser­voir high up on the edge of the Peak District.

DCI Blaik­lock said Ms Spell­man’s ve­hi­cle was found in an un­of­fi­cial car park nor­mally used by United Util­i­ties work­ers.

“Items were found which were thought to be­long to Emma and Jen­son, in­clud­ing a torch and a cud­dly toy, at the wa­ter’s edge,” said DCI Blaik­man.

“The next day a spe­cial­ist team ar­rived at 7am and at 11am the un­der­wa­ter search unit found two bod­ies in the wa­ter.”

Post­mortems car­ried out by Dr Stu­art Hamil­ton at Le­ices­ter Royal In­fir­mary gave the pre­lim­i­nary cause of death as drown­ing. No other in­juries were found on ei­ther body.

De­tec­tives have said they are not look­ing for any­one else in con­nec­tion with the deaths.

Der­byshire Se­nior Coro­ner Dr Robert Hunter ad­journed the in­quests pend­ing the re­sults of tox­i­col­ogy tests be­ing car­ried out and fur­ther po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The in­quest heard that Ms Sil­lett worked for Stock­port coun­cil’s so­cial ser­vices depart­ment in their adop­tion team.

Neigh­bours liv­ing near the fam­ily’s three bed­room semi-de­tached house de­scribed the cou­ple and their son as ‘a great fam­ily.’

When she was re­ported miss­ing many took to so­cial me­dia urg­ing her to con­tact them.

‘The un­der­wa­ter search unit found two bod­ies in the wa­ter’

●●Emma Sil­lett and her son Jen­son Spell­man

●●Mem­bers of the pub­lic leave trib­utes to Jen­son Spell­man out­side Sim­mond­ley Pri­mary School

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