Village in shock over ‘unexplained’ deaths

Steve Harris. Photo: MSSP-9060SA-6 EMN-141125-140602001
Steve Harris. Photo: MSSP-9060SA-6 EMN-141125-140602001

Villagers have spoken of their sympathy and shock after a couple were found dead at their home in Ruskington.

They have been named locally as Steven and Caroline Harris.

Cornwall Way, the scene of the unexplained deaths of a man and woman in their 50s discovered in a house yesterday. EMN-141121-122306001

Cornwall Way, the scene of the unexplained deaths of a man and woman in their 50s discovered in a house yesterday. EMN-141121-122306001

Police have not yet formally identified the bodies of the man and woman in their 50s found in a property in Cornwall Way on Thursday afternoon, but a police spokesman said a coroner’s inquest is likely to be opened and adjourned later this week to enable the force to continue with its enquiries.

A post mortem was due to be held yesterday (Tuesday), but the spokesman said it may take some time to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths. It is thought by investigators that the couple could been dead for as long as two weeks, going by the last sightings of them by neighbours.

However, he added: “We do not believe it is suspicious.”

Instead, it was being treated as an ‘unexplained death’, he said.

The man and woman were both confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics.

The pair were tenants of North Kesteven District Council and were discovered after a neighbour became concerned and reported it to the council.

A housing officer attended and reported it to police.

Phil Roberts, head of service for housing, partnerships and communities, said: “Our sympathy goes out to the family at this extremely tragic time.

“As landlords we will work with and support the police in their investigations.”

About five years ago Mr Harris used his training in site safety assessment to help a campaign group fighting to get the Millfield Terrace entrance to Sleaford Cemetery reopened to the public.

Then he hit the headlines four years ago when he found himself homeless and sleeping rough in a tent on land on the outskirts of the town.

Sympathy and shock have been voiced by neighbours since the discovery of the bodies.

They spoke of a ‘polite’ couple, who ‘kept themselves to themselves’.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, told The Standard: “I felt sorry for them. I mean, they were only in their 50s.”

Another neighbour, who also preferred not to give their name, said he would often pass Mr Harris when he was walking his dog.

Of Mr Harris and his wife, he said: “He was always polite to me, I was polite to him, and every time I saw her she was polite to me as 
well.”

A third neighbour, who also asked not to be named, said neighbours had been left ‘shocked’ by the deaths.