LONDON (Kyodo) A Japanese woman and her British husband took a fatal plunge off a cliff in southern England while carrying the body of their 5-year-old son, police confirmed Tuesday.
Kazumi Puttick, 44, and her husband, Neil, 34, were found at Beachy Head, a well-known suicide spot on England’s southern coast, following the Friday death of their son, Samuel, from meningitis.
The couple leaped off the 160-meter high cliffs near Eastbourne, about 70 km south of London, on Sunday evening, and their bodies landed on a ledge on the cliff face. Rescue workers managed to retrieve all three bodies Monday.
Media reports said the boy’s body was found in a rucksack. Another rucksack contained some toys and a teddy bear.
The area has many notices advising suicidal people to seek help before taking their lives, but around 20 people each year jump from the scenic spot overlooking the English Channel.
The family lived in a village in Wiltshire about 200 km west of London.
The child had been receiving treatment at a hospital, but when it was clear there was no hope for recovery the parents were allowed to take him home Friday.
The hospital released a statement that he died later that evening in their home.
“As a result of our investigation, I am satisfied that Samuel’s grieving parents, Neil and Kazumi, appear to have taken their own lives,” a spokesman for Sussex Police, which covers the Beachy Head area, said. “This is a tragic incident and we extend our sympathies to their family and to the large number of friends and carers affected.”
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