Appeal to trace family’s last movements, Haytor
Detectives investigating the death of a mother and son at Haytor will be returning to Dartmoor one week after the tragic event to appeal for the public’s help to establish the pair’s last movements.
Katherine Hooper, 24, and her five-year-old son Joshua died after falling from rocks last Friday (12 July). Police later discovered the body of her two-year-old son Sam at her home in Dukes Close, Paignton.
Detectives are trying to establish the movements of Katherine and Joshua in the 24 hours prior to their death.
It has been established that they took a black private hire taxi from their Paignton home to Haytor on Thursday 11 July, the day before they died.
They were dropped off at the upper car park around midday and Katherine was carrying a blue and grey booster seat, which was later found in a nearby disused quarry. The pair fell from rocks 24 hours later, around 11.50am on Friday 12 July.
Detectives, local officers and police community support officers will be at Haytor on Thursday and Friday morning looking to jog the memories of local people and visitors who may have seen Katherine and Joshua.
And police have now released still and video CCTV images of Katherine Hooper in a bid to appeal for public information surrounding her and her son’s whereabouts in the hours before their death.
Katherine is known to have left her home in Dukes Close, Paignton in a black private hire taxi at around 11.20am on Thursday 11 July.
She is seen on CCTV exiting the taxi outside the Spar in Kings Ash Road. She then is shown using the ATM before walking towards the camera and entering the store.
Minutes later she exits the shop and gets back into the waiting taxi and continues her journey to Haytor, arriving there at around midday.
She was wearing a distinctive blue and white hooped jumper. Police hope that this may jog someone’s memory as she was wearing a jumper on such a warm day.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw her in the shop, getting out of the taxi or at any time at Haytor to contact them and assist with this enquiry.
Detective Sergeant Andy James said: “We know that Katherine and Joshua arrived at Haytor last Thursday morning and died the next day.
“We now believe that they may have spent the night sleeping rough at Haytor, possibly at the quarry where the booster seat was found.
“We are appealing for help from the public to piece together those final hours and we are keen for any sightings of them during that crucial 24 hours.
“Members of the enquiry team, local officers and PCSOs will be out at Haytor on Thursday and Friday, one week on, handing out appeal flyers which we hope may jog the memory of anyone who may have been visiting the moor last Thursday and Friday.
“We would urge anyone who may have seen Katherine and Joshua to contact police with any information, however small, as this may be vital to the enquiry.”
Officers are particularly keen to trace a group of cyclists who were at Haytor on the evening of Thursday, 11 July.
They were seen having a rest at the upper car park at around 7.30pm.
Katherine was last seen wearing a distinctive blue and white hooped jumper, black trousers and black boots with a two or three inch heel. Her dark shoulder-length hair was tied back.
Dark-haired Joshua was wearing a blue top, white or light-coloured shorts and brown ankle boots.
Anyone who saw the pair is asked to contact detectives by telephoning police on 101, quoting reference 734 of 12/07/13.
Release date: 19/07/2013 15:50
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