Death of police officer and son, 3, ‘now being treated as murder-suicide’

A policeman who died with his son at home is suspected of murder and suicide.

David Louden and little Harrison were found dead last Friday at a property in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

Their deaths were initially unexplained however an investigation has led officers to suspect the father of killing his three-year-old son before taking his own life.

A tribute paid to Louden by his wife has described him as an "amazing father" and Harrison a "well-loved" boy, the Mirror reports.

As a serving officer, Louden's former colleagues at West Mercia Police have been tasked with getting to the bottom of the shocking incident.

Providing an update on the deaths, Assistant Chief Constable Damian Barratt said: "David Louden and his three-year-old son, Harrison, were tragically found dead at their home in Kidderminster on Friday, August 13, 2021.

"At the time the deaths were treated as unexplained and investigation was launched into the circumstances.

"We, West Mercia Police, are now treating the death of Harrison as a suspected murder and the death of David as a suspected suicide.

"Post-mortems have now taken place and the investigation team, in conjunction with the coroner, are satisfied that no other parties were involved.

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"However, safeguarding reviews are now underway and there will be an inquest to provide an official determination, so we are unable to comment any further at this time in relation to the circumstances of the investigation.

"This is a dreadfully sad case and our thoughts are with David and Harrison’s family and friends. They have requested that they be allowed to grieve and will not be providing any further comment to the media at this time."

A neighbour said the pair had been away on holiday with David's wife and another relative but the trip was cut short.

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It appears only father and son had returned to the house before concerns for safety were raised and the bodies were found last Friday morning.

On Sunday, a photograph of Dave and Harrison was released by police alongside a tribute from their wife and mother, Mrs Louden, who also works for the police as an officer.

In the statement, she said: "David was a kind, loving, considerate, amazing father, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend and colleague. Harrison was a happy, well-loved little boy. They will both be forever missed and loved."

The West Mercia Police Federation also issued a statement following the sad deaths.

Sarah Cooper, branch chair, said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic and heartbreaking news.

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"We extend our deepest sympathies to all those impacted by this devastating incident and our thoughts are very much with family, friends, and colleagues.

"The ripples from this incident will be far-reaching and I know that officers and staff across West Mercia Police will be impacted hugely by this tragedy."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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