Father pays tribute

5 July 2010, 12:24 | Updated: 5 July 2010, 12:38

The father of a four-year-old girl whose body was found at the same time her mother threw herself off a cliff described her as his "princess'' today.

Chaplains tried to coax Catherine Madden, 40, known as Cathy, away from Seven Sisters Cliff at Birling Gap, East Sussex, on Saturday afternoon but she fell to her death.

Meanwhile police traced her car, which had been abandoned nearby, to her home in Roundle Avenue, Felpham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, where they found the body of her daughter Keira in a bedroom.

In a statement released through Sussex Police, Steve Madden paid tribute to the little girl, describing her as his "cheeky monkey''.

It continued: "Loved and loving, adored and adoring, happy and the bringer of happiness. ``Friendly and full of friendship, laughing and the spreader of laughter, smiling and the giver of smiles. I'll see you again someday... Daddy.''

Police said Mrs Madden had been going through a divorce from the child's father, a self-employed computer expert who lives and works in Germany. He would come back to the UK every three weeks for access visits with Keira.

Only the mother and the daughter lived at the Felpham address and no-one else was being sought in connection with the deaths, police said. A post-mortem examination of Keira's body was inconclusive and police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to establish a cause of death.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Sloan said: "The father is devastated by what has happened. This appears to be a tragic series of events. ``Our thoughts are with the family members at this very difficult time who are being supported by police family liaison officers. House-to-house inquiries are being conducted to establish the circumstances leading up to the child's death.
"We are still investigating the circumstances that led up to the death of Keira Madden and her mother, Cathy Madden.

"The post-mortem results for Keira have been inconclusive and we now have to wait for the results of toxicology tests.We are not looking for anyone else at this stage in relation to the death of Keira.''