Norfolk Broads: mystery deepens as details of deaths emerge

Sep 4, 2012

Man thought to have strangled his girlfriend before drowning himself and leaving 13-year-old on board

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THE MYSTERY surrounding a couple found dead on the Norfolk Broads has deepened as details of their death and the contents of their boat have emerged.

The bodies of a man and woman, thought to be in their 40s, were recovered from the River Bure on Sunday after the woman's 13-year-old daughter was discovered alone on their holiday cruiser, which was tied to a tree near the village of Wroxham.

The man has now been named as John Didier. He reportedly worked for the NHS and came from America, he has family links to Arkansas in the US.

It is understood the trio, who lived in the Surrey area, had spent a week holidaying on the Broads and had been due to return home on Saturday. But the alarm was raised when the boat was not returned to its hire company as arranged.

A post mortem has confirmed that the woman was strangled and died before entering the water, while the man died of drowning. Officers are investigating the possibility that Didier may have killed the women and remained with her daughter for several days on the boat before drowning himself.

The Daily Telegraph points out that the incident appeared to have left the girl trapped or so traumatised that she did not call for help until officers approached the boat.

"It is understood that the girl, who was found alone and unharmed on board the family's rental boat, was cared for and fed throughout last week," reported The Guardian.

An ice cream seller said yesterday that he had seen the £1,000-a-week boat tied to a tree several times over the last week but that a man had waved him away angrily when he approached the craft.

According to the Daily Mail, detectives searching the boat for clues found a sex toy, two tubes of lubricant gel and a blood-stained sheet packed into a carrier bag. Forensic officers are also said to have retrieved duct tape, cable ties, a computer hard drive, a laptop, screws, brackets and lengths of cable.

In a statement, police said the man's death was not being treated as suspicious and that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

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