Natural causes thought to be to blame for Wheathampstead deaths
PUBLISHED: 14:30 03 August 2010 | UPDATED: 14:41 03 August 2010
A MOTHER and her severely disabled daughter who were found dead in their home on Saturday afternoon are both thought to have died of natural causes.
Police made the discovery in Marford Road, Wheathampstead, at around 2pm after concerns were raised for the welfare of the two women who had lived in the street for more than 10 years. Police have since ruled out any suspicious circumstances to the deaths.
Speaking to the Herts Advertiser yesterday, a neighbour said that she understood the mother, who has been named locally as Stephanie Wolf, died first leaving her adult disabled daughter unable to eat, drink or raise the alarm.
The neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she had been informed by police that Ms Wolf, who was in her 50s and originally from Switzerland, was found dead in her bed with her daughter’s body lying next to her wheelchair in another room
The neighbour believes she may have been the last person to see Ms Wolf alive several weeks ago and she has been told that the bodies had lay undiscovered in the bungalow, called Swiss Cottage, for up to a few weeks.
The alarm was apparently raised when somebody noticed post piling up on the doormat and flies swarming around the letterbox.
The neighbour said that Ms Wolf was not known as one of the “villagers” and had been an extremely private person who had dedicated her life to caring for her daughter, refusing any outside help from social services.
She continued: “She was devoted to her daughter, she didn’t want anyone else looking after her. Her life and her time was spent looking after her.” The woman said that Ms Wolf was also very house proud and kept the exterior of her house and garden in pristine condition.
The neighbour also expressed shock that Ms Wolf could have died of natural causes as she was “a very fit lady.”
She also raised concern that the daughter had not been fitted with a panic button as that might have enabled her to raise the alarm.
Detectives from the Major Crime Unit are investigating the exact circumstances of the deaths but a spokesperson said that nobody else was thought to have been involved.
Initial results of a post mortem conducted yesterday afternoon showed that neither woman had sustained any external injuries or violent trauma.
Official identification has not yet taken place.
A spokesperson for Adult Care Services said that the department was aware of the family but offers of help had been repeatedly declined.
He said that in 1998 an assessment of need resulted in equipment being given and major adaptations being made to the property and that day services and other support was offered following another assessment in 2006. In between assessments, the spokesperson said various other offers of help were also declined.