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Young couple found dead at home in ‘very rare but coincidental’ case that baffled police

NewsYoung couple found dead at home in ‘very rare but coincidental’ case that baffled police

A young couple have been found dead together at home in a very rare but entirely coincidental case. An inquest has heard how Aleasha Sullivan, 32, and Joshua Sandercock, 30, were discovered dead at her flat in Holcombe, Devon on October 21, 2021.

A post-mortem examination found that while both deaths happened at the same time, there was no connection between them and both died of natural causes.

DevonLive reported that Ms Sullivan’s body was discovered when police visited the property after a welfare concern was raised by her support worker who said she had not been seen or heard from in nine days.

When officers attended her home and received no response, they peered through the letterbox and saw a body leaning against the door. When they forced entry they discovered the body was Ms Sullivan and founder Mr Sandercock upstairs in the living room.

An inquest at Plymouth Coroners Court on April 20 heard that Ms Sullivan had a domestic violence protection order against Mr Sandercock following a charge of assault against her.

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The inquest heard that police initially treated the deaths as a potential crime scene until medical examinations revealed they had both died of natural causes and completely independently of each other.

Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Deborah Cook concluded that Ms Sullivan died of pulmonary thromboembolism, also known as a blood clot in her lungs.

Dr Cook said: “The initial and natural speculation was that the two deaths were linked. But after that detailed investigation, there is no evidence to suggest Aleasha died from anything other than a wholly natural cause.”

The inquest heard how Ms Sullivan’s medical records showed she had a history of drug dependency and mental health problems. She also suffered from clotting problems in her legs which could have been made worse by intravenous drug use.

The inquest was also told Ms Sullivan had suffered social and family difficulties throughout her life and she had spent some time in prison.

However, Ms Sullivan had been engaging with support services and the inquest was told she was motivated to improve her situation.

Her prescribing doctor at Together Drug and Alcohol Services said in a statement: “She was a very traumatised person but I had genuine hope for her and thought she was heading in a better direction.”

A support worker from the charity had reported Ms Sullivan missing and told the inquest that in their last meeting with her “she was very much focused on the future and a fresh start. She wore her heart on her sleeve and was just full of character”.

Investigations concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths and no signs of a disturbance at the property or the involvement of any third party.

Assistant coroner for South Devon Mike Bird said: “Despite the unusual situation where another person was found deceased at the same address at the same time, there is no evidence after forensic, medical and police investigations to suggest the causes of death of the two individuals were in any way connected.

“It can only be said that Aleasha probably died after October 12 and her body was not found until October 21.”

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