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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Woman 'murdered daughter in car'
Fiona Ann Pilkington (left) and her daughter Francesca Hardwick
The family say they are completely devastated by their loss
A mother murdered her severely disabled daughter before killing herself by setting fire to a car, police believe.

The bodies of Fiona Ann Pilkington, 38, and her daughter Francesca Hardwick, 18, were discovered inside the car late on Tuesday in Leicestershire.

The vehicle was found on fire parked in a lay-by on the A47 near Earl Shilton.

Officers said post-mortem examinations had confirmed no-one else was involved in the incident. The pair's family said they were "devastated" by the deaths.

'Extremely distressing'

Det Supt Chris Thomas of Leicestershire Police, said: "Following the results of yesterday's scene examination and the post-mortems we are satisfied that we do not need to look for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

"Our beliefs that this incident was a tragic case of murder and suicide have been borne out by the initial results but the ultimate decision clearly remains a matter for the coroner.

"The loss of loved ones in these circumstances is extremely distressing and our thoughts are with Fiona and Francesca's family at this time."

Leicestershire Police said Francesca, who was known to her family as Frankie, suffered from severe learning difficulties.

Her grandmother, who did not want to be identified, said: "As a family we are completely devastated by our loss.

"We are struggling to come to terms with what has happened and would like to be left alone to grieve in private for Fiona and Frankie."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Friends and family react to the apparent murder and suicide



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