New picture: River death couple named after Broads tragedy
08:33 05 September 2012
The victims of the Broads horror, where the bodies of a man and a woman were recovered from the river, have been named.
The man has been named locally as John Didier, who is believed to originally be from the USA, and police have formally identified the woman as Annette Creegan, 49, from Mitcham in Surrey. Their bodies were recovered from the River Bure on Sunday after Ms Creegan’s 13-year-old daughter was found alone aboard a hired pleasure cruiser, moored opposite the entrance to Salhouse Little Broad.
A Home Office post mortem examination yesterday revealed that Ms Creegan was likely to have died as a result of strangulation while the man died as a result of drowning.
The identities of the man and the woman have emerged as police continue to unravel the mystery of what happened.
Police continue to treat the deaths as a domestic incident and are not seeking anyone else in connection with it.
Mr Didier is said to be an NHS worker who has family links to Arkansas in the US. Norfolk police have declined to confirm or deny the claims, and said the man will be officially named once further formal identification procedures have taken place.
A domestic homicide review is to be carried out following the deaths which police say was the result of a “domestic incident”.
A police inquiry was launched late on Saturday after a holiday cruiser was found moored at a quiet spot with just a 13-year-old girl on board.
A Home Office post mortem carried out on Monday determined that Ms Creegan had died before entering the water and that the likely cause of death was strangulation. The man had died from drowning.
Detective Superintendent Jes Fry, heading the inquiry being carried out by the joint Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team, said the matter was being treated as a “domestic incident”.
He said: “All the circumstances indicate this was a domestic incident and we’re treating it as such.”
As a result he revealed a domestic homicide review (DHR) will take place in due course to ensure agencies are responding appropriately to victims of domestic violence by offering and/or putting in place suitable support mechanisms, procedures, resources and interventions with an aim to avoid future incidents of domestic homicide and violence.
The review will also assess whether agencies have sufficient procedures and protocols in place, which were understood and followed by their staff and where there may be a need to improve these procedures.
Det Supt Fry said he would not comment on speculation surrounding the girl, who was taken into protective custody on Saturday night and who is now being supported by relatives, whose welfare he insisted was of “paramount importance”.
He said: “There will be concerns from members of the public as to the welfare of this young girl and that’s our paramount concern - support for her and support for her family. That’s the most important thing at this time.
“The girl has been interviewed by specialist officers, her welfare has been our paramount concern from the outset and we continue to support her and the family.”
Det Supt Fry said inquiries were ongoing into how long the man and woman were dead before they were pulled from the River Bure on Sunday. He refused to comment on reports that Ms Creegan had been dead for several days.
He said: “We will be conducting inquiries to try and build a time line to establish the sequence of events. That isn’t finished.”
Det Supt Fry said they will now be sending various forensic samples for further investigation as well as interviewing people who have come forward as possible witnesses who might have been present on broads at the time to build up evidence for the inquest.
He added: “We’ve been contacted by quite a few members of the public and each of these will be followed up.”
The family had hired the cruiser, Admiral, from Le Boat yard in Ferry View Road, Horning. A spokesman for the confirmed they had holidayed with Le Boat on the Broads on several previous occasions.
Divers brought in by police launched a search after officers, alerted by the boat hire company concerned that one of its vessels had not returned, found Ms Creegan’s 13-year-old daughter alone on the boat moored in an isolated inlet between Wroxham Broad and Salhouse Broad.
Mystery surrounds how long the craft had been moored at the quiet inlet opposite Salhouse Little Broad where it was found.
Some river users suggested it may have been there for several days with the curtains strangely closed even during the heat of the day.