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16 July 2010, 11:23
No trace of drugs have been found in a four-year-old girl whose body was found at around the time her mother fell to her death from cliffs, it was revealed today.
Toxicology results are still being awaited but initial indications show no drugs were in Keira Madden's body at the time of her death, Sussex Police said. Keira was found in a bedroom at the family home at around the same time her mother, Catherine Madden, 40, threw herself from a clifftop 50 miles away on July 3.
Police revealed that a note apparently written by Mrs Madden was found next to Keira's body claiming she had drowned after slipping in the sea the previous day. A post-mortem examination on Keira's body proved inconclusive while one conducted on Mrs Madden confirmed she died from multiple injuries consistent with a fall.
A police spokesman said today: "Police are still waiting for toxicology results relating to the death of Keira Madden on July 3. "However, early indications show that the four-year-old did not have any drugs in her body - prescription or otherwise - at the time of her death. " Further test results are still not expected for another two weeks.''
Appeals for information by police have resulted in a number of leads, including possible sightings of Mrs Madden's car on the day of her death. Last week officers visited four beaches in West Sussex, at Felpham, Climping, Witterings and Pagham, and asked beachgoers if they recognised the mother and daughter from the previous week. Officers also visited the seaside spot at Birling Gap, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, where Mrs Madden left her car. It was at Birling Gap that chaplains tried to coax Mrs Madden away from the clifftop but she fell to her death. At around the same time, police linked her car to her home in Roundle Avenue, Felpham, Bognor Regis, where they found the body of Keira.
Keira's maternal grandparents, Jo and Peter Oates, said the pair adored each other and that " nothing came between that love''. They added: "Cathy and Keira are now together for all time and nothing can separate them.''
Mrs Madden had been going through a divorce from her daughter's father, Steve Madden, a self-employed computer expert who lives and works in Germany. He would come back to the UK every three weeks for access visits to see Keira. In a statement released through police, he paid tribute to his daughter, describing her as his " princess''.
Neighbour Steve Hill said the couple had been involved in a domestic argument at the house about two months ago, with clothes thrown on to the street. Police said only the mother and daughter lived at the house and that no one else is being sought in connection with the deaths.
Inquests into both deaths will be held at a date to be fixed. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 6070 999, quoting Operation Launton.