Son ‘stabbed mum, 68, to death then killed himself in murder-suicide’

A 44-year-old man stabbed his mum to death before dying from a massive dose of drugs in a suspected murder-suicide, police say.

The horrifying discovery of 68-year-old Janice Woolford's bloodied body was made just after 10am on Wednesday.

It wasn't long before Northumbria Police found a second corpse – that of her son Michael Woolford – at the house in Sunderland.

A spokesman for the force told ChronicleLive that Michael did not have any obvious injuries but police believe he had taken a large amount of drugs.

Detective chief inspector Jane Fairlamb said: "This is a tragic case that has obviously had a devastating impact on Janice and Michael's family.

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"An investigation into the circumstances around the death is ongoing but the evidence we have gathered at this stage suggests it as a suspected murder-suicide.

"A post mortem has taken place that has confirmed Janice died from stab wounds but we still need to wait for a toxicology report to confirm that Michael had died of a drugs overdose."

The dead mum and son where named by police today, after the grim discovery at a house in Satley Gardens, in the Tunstall area of the city.

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Police responded to a report by a member of the public, who was concerned for the safety of Janice.

Janice and Michael were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Enquiries into the circumstances around their deaths are ongoing but detectives are treating the death of Mrs Woolford as murder.

They do not believe anyone else is involved.

DCI Fairlamb added: "Once we have concluded our investigation then we will provide the coroner with a report.

"I would like to reassure members of the community that there is no wider threat to the public and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident at this stage.

"We would ask that the public respect the privacy of the family at what is an incredibly difficult time for them."

  • Anyone with information about the deaths can call 101 quoting log 230 of February 26.
  • If you want to remain anonymous, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

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