Man held over double murder

Double Murder at Ironside Road, Gleadless'Tracy Johnston who was a friend of murder victim Tracy Donnelly

Double Murder at Ironside Road, Gleadless'Tracy Johnston who was a friend of murder victim Tracy Donnelly

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A 25-YEAR-OLD man remained in custody yesterday (Wednesday) as police investigated the murder of a Sheffield mother and her daughter.

He was arrested following the discovery of the bodies of Tracy Donnelly, aged 42, and her daughter Louise, 23, in a house in Ironside Road, Hemsworth, on Tuesday at 7.40am.

IRONSIDE ROAD MURDER  Flowers left at the scene of the murder.    30 March 2011

IRONSIDE ROAD MURDER Flowers left at the scene of the murder. 30 March 2011

Tracy and Louise, who was pregnant with her first child, were killed together while Tracy’s four-year-old son Daniel was at home.

Neighbours saw the youngster being carried away by a police officer after a relative made the grim discovery and raised the alarm.

Details of how the women died have not yet been released. Post mortem examinations were being carried out yesterday.

The suspect was still being held in custody as detectives applied for a warrant of further detention to give them more time before charging, bailing or releasing him.

rossparry.co.uk/syndication  Collect picture of Louise Donnelly and her boyfriend Ricky Williams.

rossparry.co.uk/syndication Collect picture of Louise Donnelly and her boyfriend Ricky Williams.

Police said they believed it was a domestic incident, “with the local community and wider public not in any danger”.

The murder scene was taped off and under police guard yesterday, with a white tent at the front door to preserve forensic evidence.

A team of police officers searched bins outside the property and neighbouring homes.

Bouquets and tributes to the victims have been left at the scene.

One neighbour, Tracey Johnston, aged 27, told how a man had been seen running barefoot from the house at around 2am.

“I had a friend staying with me and she told me she had seen a man running from Tracy’s house with nothing on his feet and jumping into a car. I thought of going across but I didn’t want to interfere.

“If I had, maybe I could have done something and they would still be alive today. Another neighbour said she heard screaming coming from the house.

“I looked after Daniel the day before all this – he came across to play with my daughter, Chloe.

“I can’t imagine what he is going to be like after this. He has an old head on his little shoulders – he is like a little granddad – but this will be too much.

“He would have been there when his mum and sister were killed. One of the neighbours saw the police carrying him out in a blanket.

“I just wish I had gone over. If I had, things might have been different.”

Louise was a barmaid at The New Inn pub on Hemsworth Road and lived with her boyfriend Ricky Williams. She was visiting her mother’s home for the night.

Tracy Donnelly lived at the property with Daniel. She moved to the area around a year ago to build a new life after splitting from Daniel’s father.

Neighbour Denise Murray, aged 48, said: “We have heard there was some screaming, so I dread to think what happened in that house or what the little boy inside saw.

“My heart goes out to him because I used to foster children, and some of those had gone through traumas and it was really hard for them to recover – in fact they never really did.

“I just hope he didn’t see or hear anything and that he wasn’t the one who found the bodies.”

Frederick Slater, aged 83, who has lived on the road for more than 40 years, said: “It was a shock to hear of this happening where we live – there was a time when everyone knew everybody but nowadays it’s not like that, but it is still a shock to hear that people have died like this.

“It always was and still is in my eyes a nice place to live. Things like this can happen anywhere.

“I have never seen as many police, though – they are everywhere.”