A CLOSE-knit Sheffield estate has been rocked by the murders of a mum and her daughter.
Neighbours wept openly in the street after learning of the killings of Tracy Donnelly, 42, and Louise, 23. Tracy’s four-year-old son Daniel - Louise’s half-brother - was inside the house at the time.
Residents gathered at the crime scene and outside their homes as detectives quizzed locals to build up a picture of what happened. A 25-year-old man was still being questioned on suspicion of murder this morning.
Neighbour Denise Murray, aged 48, told The Star: “We have heard there was some screaming so I dread to think what went on in that house or what the little boy saw.
“My heart goes out to him because I used to foster children. 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 didn’t see the bodies.”
Neighbour Tracey Johnston, breaking down in tears, said: “Tracy and Louise were not just mother and daughter - they were best friends. They were always together. They are a very close family.”
She added: “I looked after Daniel the day before all this - he came across to play with my daughter, Chloe. I can’t believe what has happened.”
Sonia Brown, 30, said: “It is heartbreaking for the family, and for the little boy left behind. I worry how he is going to cope without his mum and sister. If he witnessed this it is going to stay with him for the rest of his life.
“He was only seen coming out of the house when the bodies had been found, so had he been with them all night?”
Zoe Goddard, 30, added: “Tracy was only at a barbecue with us all a week ago - it was a spur of the moment thing because of the nice weather and it was lovely for us all to be sitting out while our children were playing together.
“Tracy seemed happy, she didn’t seem to have any problems.”
Derek Rosso, 77, who has lived on Ironside Road for 31 years, said: “The first I knew of this was waking up at 7.45am and seeing ambulances and the police everywhere.
“It is frightening for things like this to be happening so close to home. This used to be a wonderful place to live, with great community spirit, but nowadays it seems nobody really knows their neighbours and then you hear about murders - it scares you.” Barry Flecknell, 50, added: “I can remember when a murder was rare - now they seem to be happening every other day.”
Over the last five weeks police in South Yorkshire have investigated six other murders and one case of manslaughter.