Tributes to ‘inspirational’ mother and daughter at centre of double murder probe

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Tributes have been paid to an “inspirational” mother and daughter who are the focus of a double murder investigation.

Laura Mortimer, 31, and her 11-year-old daughter Ella Dalby were both pronounced dead at a house in Dexter Way, Gloucester.

Police were called to a modern terrace property on the outskirts of the city early on Bank Monday morning, responding to reports that two people had been seriously injured.

Dexter Way, Gloucester, after the bodies of a woman and a girl were found in a property (Aaron Chown/PA)
Dexter Way, Gloucester, after the bodies of a woman and a girl were found in a property (Aaron Chown/PA)

It is understood the mother-of-three ran her own business, Sweet Beginnings, offering bespoke bridal gowns and wedding planning services.

A wedding photographer based in Gloucestershire, who did not wish to be named, said: “Laura was a lovely lady with a kind word for everyone.

“She worked so hard to get where she did and was extremely well respected throughout Gloucestershire and beyond.

“I know every Sweet Beginnings bride and wedding supplier is thinking of her and her family.”

Tributes have been paid on Facebook, with one saying: “Been in so much shock all day and still have no words, I’m absolutely heart broken and keep thinking someone is going to say they got it wrong.

“Fly high Laura and keep Ella safe with you. It’s just unthinkable. Your poor little girls.”

Another said: “Laura and I were good friends and I’m in extreme shock.

“I tell you what I cannot, cannot, cannot believe this. Gutted does not even come close and that beautiful daughter Ella she was Laura’s rock…”

Forensic officers were at the scene in Dexter Way, which is part of the new St Oswald’s Park housing estate built on the site of a former cattle market.

“A 28-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of the murder of the woman and the girl. He is still being questioned by officers,” a police spokesman said.

“Forensic inquiries will be continuing and post-mortem examinations are due to take place in the coming days.

“The family of the victims has asked for privacy at this time. We would like to thank the local community for their patience and assistance today.

“Multi-agency meetings will be held over the coming days, with the aim of providing support to our communities, particularly young people.”

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