Mother and daughter found dead in burger van poisoned by carbon monoxide, inquest finds

Leah Churchill and Brooke Wanstall died on Valentine's Day. Credit: Facebook

A coroner has ruled that a mother and daughter who were found dead in a burger van died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The bodies of Leah Churchill, 50, and Brooke Wanstall, 17, were found in Whistable, Kent on 14 February 2023.

An inquest concluded it was accidental death and that the poisoning was mostly likely due to a generator having been turned on in an enclosed space.

Brooke's brother Tyla Wanstall was the one who made the discovery.

Leah Churchill and Brooke Wanstall were exposed to carbon monoxide while inside the burger van. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Speaking at the time of their deaths in February, Tyla said: "When I got to the burger van around 8am, I was running late because admittedly it was my birthday. When I got there my mum's car was outside.

"I opened the door to shout, 'what you doing here', and you don't even want to know what I saw.

"It wasn't good. It was my mum and my sister and they weren't alive.

"My sister is just a baby, she's 17 and it just shouldn't happen."

  • In February, son and brother Tyla Wanstall paid tribute to his family

The day after their deaths, balloons were released by friends and family in their memory along the seafront at Herne Bay.

People gathered opposite Cains amusements at Central Parade to release pink and silver balloons.

  • Balloons were released the day after Leah Churchill and Brooke Wanstall's deaths in their memory

In a statement from the time, a spokesperson for Kent Police said: "At 8.17am on Tuesday 14 February 2023, Kent Police was called following concerns for the welfare of two people in a van at a property on the Old Thanet Way, Whitstable.

"Officers attended the scene along with South East Coast Ambulance Service and a woman in her 50s and a teenage girl were pronounced deceased.

"The deaths are being treated as non-suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner."