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Police ignored 999 call an hour before family of four were found dead

Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, and her seven-year-old sister were both found dead at a house in Costessey, Norfolk
Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, and her seven-year-old sister were both found dead at a house in Costessey, Norfolk - East Anglia News Service

A police force has referred itself to the watchdog after it failed to respond to a 999 call an hour before four family members were found dead.

Norfolk Police confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the ‘‘tragic incident’’ which unfolded at a home in Costessey, near Norwich.

The bodies of two young girls, a 36-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man were found in a house on Allan Bedford Crescent on Friday morning, after a member of the public raised concerns for the welfare of people inside.

It has since emerged that a man phoned 999 an hour before the alarm was raised – but “police resources were not deployed” in response to that first call.

Officers were only sent to the house after receiving the second call at 7am from a member of the public concerned about the people inside. The four bodies were found after police broke in at 7.15am.

Two young sisters described as “beautiful girls” were among those killed and were identified locally as Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, and her seven-year-old sister. They both attended local schools and were often seen walking around.

They were found alongside their father Bartlomiej Kuczynski, 45, and a 36-year-old woman.

The girls were found alongside their father Bartlomiej Kuczynski, 45, and a 36-year-old woman
The girls were found alongside their father Bartlomiej Kuczynski, 45, and a 36-year-old woman

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Burgess, who is leading the investigation, said: “We’ve spoken to witnesses and neighbours, carried out house-to-house inquiries, examined local CCTV and completed initial scene investigations. “As a result of this, we’re not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.”

Mr Burgess said: “Post-mortem examinations will be carried out tomorrow for the man and woman, and on Wednesday for the two girls.

“While I can confirm all four people were found with injuries, we will not be disclosing any further information until these examinations have taken place and the cause of death has been established.

“This is a tragic incident, distressing for all involved and it is clear from the reaction it’s caused a lot of shock and upset in the local community. We’ve had uniformed officers patrolling the area today and these will continue tomorrow.”

Two referrals to the Independent Office for Police Conduct

On Friday the force referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to police contact at the address on Dec 14 which related to Mr Kuczynski going missing.

On Saturday the force made a second referral to the watchdog after admitting officers had failed to respond to a 999 call on the day of the suspected murder-suicide.

Well-wishers including crying girls left flowers in the family’s memory outside their home on Saturday.

Officers said the victims were from the same family and that the two girls and the man lived in the semi-detached house while the woman who died was “visiting and didn’t live at the property”.

Mr Kuczynski’s Thai-born wife Nanthaka Kuczynska, who was known as Nan, had reportedly not been seen by neighbours for months.

Others said that her sister had recently moved in to help care for the girls and Polish-born structural engineer Mr Kuczynski who had been suffering from mental health issues.

“It is just awful,” Jocelyn Atienza, 50, a mother-of-two who lives nearby said. “The two girls were lovely sisters and beautiful girls.

“They were nice girls who were a little shy. We used to see them walking around together. They would look really happy when they were out with friends.

“The older one would catch the bus to school, and her little sister would walk to the primary school by herself.

“Their mother was friendly and we always used to say hi hello to each other in the street, but I have not seen her around for some time.

“She always used to put up decorations for Halloween and Christmas outside their home, but her husband was putting up decorations instead of her last December.”

Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, who has been named locally as one of the four people found dead at a house in Costessey, Norfolk
Jasmin Kuczynska, 12, who has been named locally as one of the four people found dead at a house in Costessey, Norfolk

Jasmin was a pupil at Taverham High School while her sister was a pupil at the Queen’s Hill Primary School on the Queen’s Hill estate where they lived.

Mr Kuczynski is understood to have lived in Britain for the last 20 years after graduating from Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland.

His home remained cordoned off by police today as white-suited forensic officers were seen going in and out of a large white tent erected beside the front door.

The Bishop of Norwich the Right Rev Graham Usher said wanted to offer “prayers for all impacted by this tragic news, especially the wider family and people from Costessey”.

He added: “I’ve spoken to our local clergy who are offering support in the communities they serve and will be opening churches for those who want to come and pray/talk.”

A force spokesperson said: “Yesterday, officers confirmed the incident had been referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), as per standard procedure, due to police contact at the address on 14 December which related to a missing person enquiry.

“A second referral has been made to the IOPC today [20 January] following the identification of a 999 call made yesterday morning at 6am by a man at the address and police resources were not deployed.”

Detectives investigating ‘the circumstances of the incident’

The force said it was carrying out additional uniformed patrols in Costessey as “detectives continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident”.

The spokesperson added: “A police cordon remains in place and forensic investigations will continue today inside the property.

“Detectives have been carrying out house-to-house enquiries, speaking with witnesses and are continuing to examine local CCTV footage.”

A forensic investigator outside a house in Costessey near Norwich after four people were found dead inside the property
Police are continuing the investigation into the deaths of four people in Costessey - Joe Giddens/PA

Detective Chief Inspector Burgess said: “We’ve had a heavy police presence in the area since yesterday morning and there’s understandably concern in the local community.

“However, their help and support in the investigation has been unwavering and on behalf of everyone involved in this devastating incident, we’re extremely grateful for that.

“Today, the focus of our enquiries remains at the address and we’re examining local CCTV.

“While we’re still piecing together what’s happened, at this stage we remain satisfied that this is an isolated incident.

“We’re aware of commentary on social media and in news media, however, I would emphasise that formal identification is yet to take place.

“As I said yesterday, we believe the man and two children lived at the address, and while the woman was staying there, she wasn’t a permanent resident.”

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