Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 16:49 UK

Suicide jump boy had died at home

Kazumi, Sam and Neil Puttick
Neighbours said parents Kazumi and Neil lived for Sam

A five-year-old boy whose body was found at Beachy Head with those of his parents had died from meningitis at his home four days earlier, police said.

Sam Puttick, who was discovered in a rucksack at the East Sussex beauty spot on Monday, was discharged from hospital on Friday and died later.

His parents Kazumi and Neil Puttick wanted Sam, who was quadriplegic, to die at home in Westbury, Wiltshire.

Police said they were satisfied the couple had "taken their own lives".

Mr Puttick, 34, and his 44-year-old wife lived with Sam at Wishing Well Farm in Brokerswood in Westbury.

Sue Capon, who knew the family, says the parents were 'devoted' to Sam

Sam had been paralysed from the neck down following a car crash in July 2005.

Friend Sue Capon, who owns Brokerswood Country Park opposite Mr and Mrs Puttick's house, said they both lived for Sam.

She added: "Sam was adorable, a delight and I feel privileged to have been close to him during his short life. He never complained, he was always happy and full of smiles. He loved tractors and the chickens.

"Neil and Kazumi gave 110% to Sam, they used to come to the park, feed the ducks and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside."

Mrs Capon said: "Their life was Sam and without him their life did not mean anything to them. They were devoted to one another as well as to their child and it's just such a sad ending."

Sam needed equipment to help him breathe and a website called "stuff4sam" was created to help raise funds for his care.

A statement posted on the website on Tuesday said: "It is with great sadness we have to share the terrible news about Neil, Kazumi and Sam.

"Sam died from meningitis on Friday and it seems that Neil and Kazumi took their own lives shortly after that."

We are all better for knowing them and Sam could not have wished for better parents
Statement on stuff4sam website

It continues: "We are all very shocked at this terrible news and thinking of everyone who cared for Sam or were close to Neil and Kazumi who are dealing with this tragic situation.

"We are all better for knowing them and Sam could not have wished for better parents."

Det Insp Ian Williams, of Sussex Police, said: "I am satisfied that Samuel's grieving parents Neil and Kazumi appear to have taken their own lives.

"This is a tragic incident and we extend our sympathies to their family and to the large number of friends and carers affected."

Sam had been receiving treatment for pneumococcal meningitis at the Paediatric Intensive Children's Unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset NHS said: "When it became clear that Sam had no hope of recovery from his severe infection, he was discharged to his family home at his parents' request."

He was certified dead at the family home by a doctor at about 2000 BST.

The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

The deaths will be the subject of an extensive investigation and inquest.

The NHS said the discharge to home of seriously ill children was an accepted part of the palliative withdrawal of treatment to support the families of dying children.

Rescuers found a second rucksack, full of toys, near the bodies.

A silver Volkswagen camper van was recovered from a roadside car park about 200 yards (183m) from the cliff edge.

Coastguards on routine patrol first spotted what they thought were two bodies 400ft (120m) down the cliff face on Sunday evening.

The two rucksacks were discovered on Monday and the bodies recovered by 1400 BST.

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The three bodies were recovered from Beachy Head on Monday



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SEE ALSO
Suicide jump child 'already dead'
02 Jun 09 |  Sussex
Three bodies found at Beachy Head
01 Jun 09 |  Sussex
Beachy Head hero stung by critics
02 Oct 07 |  Sussex
Beachy Head suicide numbers down
20 Dec 06 |  Southern Counties

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