UPDATED: Woman and six-year-old grandson drown in ‘tragic accident’ in Holywell near Castle Bytham

The scene where a grandmother and grandson, six, were found dead in Holywell, Lincolnshire. Photo: Jonathan Smith
The scene where a grandmother and grandson, six, were found dead in Holywell, Lincolnshire. Photo: Jonathan Smith

A WOMAN and her six-year-old grandson who drowned in a "tragic accident" at a lake may have been feeding ducks there, police say.

The bodies of the 71-year-old and her grandson were found in a lake in Holywell near Castle Bytham.

Det Chief Insp David Wood at the scene in Holywell, Lincolnshire on Friday afternoon. Photo: Jonathan Smith

Det Chief Insp David Wood at the scene in Holywell, Lincolnshire on Friday afternoon. Photo: Jonathan Smith

The boy’s mother, who is believed to live in Ketton, raised the alarm at 9.20pm on Thursday night.

Her son had spent Wednesday night with her mother, who lived in Castle Bytham. He was due to return home on Thursday evening.

Police went to the grandmother’s house and no one was there. Officers began searching for them and for the woman’s car.

An RAF search and rescue helicopter was called in to assist.

Police found the woman’s car close to a duck pond in nearby Holywell at 10.45pm. Soon afterwards the body of a woman, thought to be in her seventies, was recovered from the pond.

Police divers continued to search for the boy and a body was found just before 4am.

One neighbour who joined the search after police knocked on his door and drove around for about half an hour said: “I was really shocked and stunned and very upset.

“She’s been our neighbour ever since we moved here. She was a fantastic person.

“She was great with kids and loved them to bits. She was a fantastic neighbour and could not do enough to help us out with anything.”

Paul Thurman, 65, of Pinfold Road, said: “We heard the news this morning.

“She was a lovely, lovely lady. She was a private person but was always keen to say hello and it was quite a shock, especially in the circumstances.

“She lived on her own but she wasn’t a lonely lady by any means.”

David King, 49, who lives in Pinfold Road in the village said: “We drive past the pond on the way to go shopping and it’s such a lovely area. They’ve been dredging it for the past six months. They have just planted some new trees and a lot of people go there to feed the geese.

“It’s very tragic.”

A neighbour who has lived in the village for 30 years said: “We heard the helicopter at about 2am. We didn’t think it was anything too unusual but I wondered what was happening.

“A lot of the villagers go to feed the ducks down there. It’s absolutely tragic. I can’t believe it.

“I was a vague acquaintance. She used to go by in her car and we’d wave.”

Clerk to Castle Bytham Parish Council Muriel Cooke said: “It’s shocking news for the village. The lady was from here and she was a very private person.

“She was a very nice lady, very cultured. She liked the ballet for example. I don’t know her or the family very well.”

Police said the circumstances surrounding the deaths are being investigated and post mortems will be carried out in due course.

Formal identifications will be carried out on Monday. Family members and friends are still being traced.

Det Chief Insp David Wood: “At the moment we believe this is a tragic accident.

“Initial inquiries show there were no witnesses so it’s not possible to say how this has occurred.

“There is no information indicating this is suspicious and we are continuing the investigation today.”