Family tells of double death shock

RELATIVES have told how the deaths of a well-known couple from stab wounds and fire fumes was a tragedy “beyond understanding”.

Laurence Cawley

RELATIVES have told how the deaths of a well-known couple from stab wounds and fire fumes was a tragedy “beyond understanding”.

The bodies of Keith and Christine McDonald were found in a house in New Cheveley Road, Newmarket, last Friday.

Mrs McDonald died from stab wounds while Mr McDonald died from “inhalation of fire fumes”.


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The couple - who were both taxi drivers in the town - were discovered by emergency services after neighbours became concerned for their “welfare”. Police officers also found the remains of a fire.

A joint tribute released by the families of the couple today said: “It is beyond our understanding how the marriage of such an outgoing couple with lots of friends and well known to the community could have ended after 19 years in such a tragic way.

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“We appreciate all the support we have received and ask that we may now be allowed to grieve in peace.”

Derek Spencer, from the Newmarket Taxi Drivers Association, last night described the despair at the grim discovery.

Mr McDonald, 47, lived in New Cheveley Road, while Mrs McDonald, 48, lived at Lapwing Court, Mildenhall.

Police and fire officers forced their way into the Newmarket home at around 5.15pm on Friday following reports of a blaze and found the two bodies inside.

Neighbours called the police after becoming concerned about the welfare of the couple - but officers quickly ruled out any “third-party involvement”.

Det Supt John Raine, who was investigating the case, confirmed the couple could well have been in the house for several hours together before the discovery which he later described as an isolated incident.

The couple's two taxi cabs were sealed off within a police cordon as forensic experts surveyed the scene. An investigation into the cause of the fire is also under way.

On Tuesday afternoon an inquest into the couple's death was opened and adjourned in Wisbech.

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