Northern Ireland news

Man and woman found dead at house in Derry named locally as Kim Hazlett and Patrick Stokes

Police outside the house in the Strathfoyle area of Derry where a man and woman were found dead on Friday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

POLICE are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of a man and a woman, both believed to be in their 20s, who were found dead at a house in Derry.

The pair, named locally as Kim Hazlett and Patrick Stokes, were found at a property in Strathfoyle.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it was called to the house at Claragh Court at 5.30pm on Friday. Two rapid response paramedics joined emergency crews.

It is understood Ms Hazlett and Mr Stokes were in an unresponsive state when police and ambulance crews arrived and were later pronounced dead at the scene.

A PSNI spokesman said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden deaths.

He said: “At present the deaths are not being treated as suspicious. However, post mortem examinations will be carried out in due course. There is no further information at present.”

It is understood a police search in Strathfoyle on Saturday afternoon was linked to the earlier tragedy.

Ms Hazlett was originally from Limavady but had been living in the Derry area in recent years while Mr Stokes was originally from the Galliagh area of the city.

DUP assembly member, Gary Middleton described the tragedy as a “terrible situation" adding his thoughts were with the families of the deceased.

Sinn Féin MLA, Karen Mullan also extended sympathy to the families of the two young people.

“There is shock and sadness following the deaths of two young people.... an investigation into the cause of their deaths is now under way. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have died at this difficult time.”

SDLP councillor Jim McKeever said he visited the area after news of the tragedy broke. Mr McKeever said people were struggling to come to terms with what happened.

“People can’t understand it; the community is in shock. Obviously my first thoughts and sympathies go to the families of the two people who died.

“We must wait now and see the outcome of the police investigation,” Mr McKeever said.

Derry Alliance councillor Rachael Ferguson said people were shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

“We’re also asking people to be careful about what they say on social media about this. There has been a lot of things on social media but we must remember that there are two families grieving at the minute and they should be given space to deal with what happened,” Ms Ferguson said.

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Northern Ireland news