INQUESTS have been held into the deaths of a young Holcombe couple, found dead two years ago.
Both Aleasha Sullivan, 32, and Joshua Sandercock, 30, died of natural causes and were found dead at a flat in the village in October 2021.
A major crime investigation was launched after their bodies were found but, following post mortem examinations and extensive inquiries, police found no evidence to suggest any connection between the two deaths, despite them both being found at the same time in the same place.
Investigations concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths and no signs of a disturbance at the property or third-party involvement, the inquest was told.
Police had been called to Aleasha’s home following welfare concerns and she was reported missing to police on October 21.
Officers attended her home that morning and saw through the letterbox a body against the door.
After breaking in, they found Aleasha had been dead for several days.
While searching the maisonette, police then discovered Joshua’s body.
The inquest at Plymouth Coroner’s Court, heard police initially treated it as a potential crime scene until medical examinations revealed they had both died of natural causes, completely independently of each other.
Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Deborah Cook concluded that Aleasha had died of pulmonary thromboembolism - a blood clot in her lungs.
Dr Cook added there had been no signs of trauma to her body to suggest there had been a physical assault or fall down the stairs.
Addressing the family, assistant coroner for south Devon Mike Bird said: ‘I can imagine as a family it is quite a surprising conclusion considering where the investigation started and two people having been found in same premises at the same time.
‘The initial and natural speculation was that the two deaths were linked but after that detailed investigation there is no evidence to suggest Aleasha died from anything other than a wholly natural cause.’
Aleasha’s medical records revealed a history of drug dependency, mental health problems as well as clotting problems in her legs which can be made worse through intravenous drug use.
Mr Bird said: ‘Despite the unusual situation where another person was found deceased at the same address at the same time, there is no evidence after forensic, medical and police investigations to suggest the causes of death of the two individuals were in any way connected.’
Recording his conclusion, he said: ‘Surprisingly, but very clear, is the conclusion that Aleasha’s death is due to natural causes.’
An inquest was held separately into Joshua’s death.
He had been found lying on his back on the sofa in Aleasha’s living room.
His cause of death was confirmed as pneumonia. Toxicology tests showed he had taken methadone, which he had not been prescribed, in the hours before his death.
Pathologist Dr Cook said: ‘The methadone may have tipped the balance in a man suffering pneumonia to result in respiratory compromise that resulted in death.’
Recording a natural causes conclusion for Joshua's death, Mr Bird said: ‘It can be said very clearly there is no evidence of the suggestion the deaths were connected in any way other than entirely coincidentally.
‘Neither one of them had anything to do with the death of the other. The evidence clearly from all sources says there was no connection.’