- 4 updates
Police say that two people found dead in a burning car in Southend last night were a mother and son.
Mother, Catherine Mhlaba, and her 16-year-old son, Beki Ali, were discovered in the blazing vehicle on the Thorpe Bay Esplanade.
Detectives say that they are looking into the possibility that Catherine could have started the fire in her black Vauxhall Vectra in order to kill her son and take her own life.
Essex police said:
"Specially trained officers are supporting the family at this very difficult time.
"These tragic deaths are being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
"Their investigation is currently looking at the possibility that Catherine Mhlaba was responsible for killing her son and taking her own life by starting the fire inside the car.
"Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact them at Southend on 101.
"They are particularly keen to hear from a dog walker who may have been in the area at about 5.20pm or anyone who may have seen the car at any time either before or during the fire."
A witness has described her shock after two people died as a result of a car fire in Southend yesterday.
Three fire crews were called to the scene at on the Thorpe Bay Esplanade, but they were unable to save the victims.
Barbara Herve witnessed the devastating incident:
"When I walked into my front room, I looked out and there was flames from this car.
"It was unbelievable, they were 11 or 12 feet high and coming out of both sides.
"It was completely enveloped in flames."
Essex Police are continuing to investigate the deaths of two people involved in a car fire near Southend-on-Sea.
Police were called to reports of a car on fire near Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club on the Esplanade yesterday afternoon.
Essex Police have launched an investigation after two people died in a car fire in Southend.
It happened at the Thorpe Bay Esplanade yesterday evening, at around twenty 17:20.
Three fire crews were called to the scene but were unable to save the two people in the car.
Detectives say that the deaths are currently being treated as "unexplained."