Lutton teacher Bernice William had to be identified by DNA after her body was found hidden under a pile of underlay in the family’s junk room, an inquest has heard.
Police took two days to find the body of the mother-of-two after her husband Lawrence (49) was discovered hanged in a stable block at the couple’s farmhouse in Colley’s Gate.
His body was found on Friday, April 7 by the couple’s eldest son, Joseph, who had returned from university.
Post mortem examinations indicated that Mr William taken his own life.
The hearing in Boston heard Joseph and the couple’s other son, Ben, had been told that Mrs William was away staying with friends. Police began searching the large property after enquiries showed that was not correct but they did not find her until Sunday, April 9.
Mrs William’s body was found following “detailed searches” by specialist police teams but it took over a week to formally identify her through DNA tests.
Police had originally put out a missing persons appeal for her following the discovery of Mr William, saying she had not been seen since Saturday, March 25.
DS Andy McWatt, giving evidence as inquests were opened into the two deaths, confirmed it took police search teams two days to reach the junk room where the body of Mrs William was found hidden under a pile of underlay.
He said: “[The sons] had been told their mother had gone away to stay with friends. Enquiries showed that was not the case and at that point police became suspicious and began to search the scene.
“The body of Mrs William was found in a front room covered over by some old underlay and other bits and pieces.”
DS McWatt said police were treating the death of Mrs William as suspicious and did not believe any third party was involved in the death of her husband.
Post mortem results on the cause of death for Mrs William have so far been inconclusive.
The senior coroner for South Lincolnshire, Paul Cooper, adjourned the inquests for further police investigations, toxicology tests and post mortem results.
- Previous reports of the case, acting on information supplied by police, have incorrectly referred to the couple’s name as Williams