2-Year-Old Boy 'Starved to Death' After Dad Had Heart Attack at Home

Days before the discovery of the bodies of Bronson Battersby and his dad Kenneth, a social worker tried to visit their home

Bronson Battersby
Bronson Battersby
  • The bodies of a 2-year-old boy and his 60-year-old father were found inside a home in Skegness on Jan. 9, police confirmed to PEOPLE

  • A local county council said a social worker unsuccessfully tried to visit the property on multiple occasions before the victims’ bodies were discovered

  • Police have said "the deaths are not being treated as suspicious"

Two-year-old boy Bronson Battersby was found dead alongside his 60-year-old father at a home in the U.K. earlier this month, according to authorities.

The Lincolnshire Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE on Wednesday that the deaths occurred at a property on Prince Alfred Avenue in the town of Skegness. The bodies were discovered around 3:25 PM local time on Jan. 9.

“Investigations have been carried out and the deaths are not being treated as suspicious,” the Lincolnshire Police Department said in a statement. “The matter has been passed to the coroner’s office.”

The Lincolnshire County Council told PEOPLE that initial findings indicate the boy's father died of a heart attack. It is thought that the boy starved to death after his father's heart attack, according to the BBC.

An inquest into their deaths has not yet been opened by the Lincoln Coroner's Office, which is "waiting for futher information from the pathologist," the outlet reported.

Related: Little Boy, 2, Starves to Death After His Father Suffers Fatal Heart Attack in New York Apartment

"It is a tragedy," Lincolnshire County Council's executive director of children's services, Heather Sandy, told BBC Radio.

"[The boy's father] was at home on his own with Bronson and that meant that there was nobody left to give Bronson care, and sadly as a result of that, Bronson has also passed away," Sandy told the station.

<p>Google Maps</p> Prince Alfred Avenue in the British town of Skegness

Google Maps

Prince Alfred Avenue in the British town of Skegness

The Lincolnshire County Council said that a social worker had been in communication with the boy’s father, Kenneth Battersby, on Dec. 27 to arrange for a home visit for Jan. 2.

When officials didn’t receive a response on the day of the visit, the social worker — who was not legally permitted to force entry to the property — contacted police and made inquiries at other addresses where the child might have been. Two days later, the social worker made another visit to the property. Again, there was no reply, so they reached out to the police. 

On Jan. 9, the property’s landlord granted access to the social worker, which is when the discovery of their bodies was made.

The council said that no one else was living on the premises other than Kenneth and Bronson.

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“This was a tragic incident, and we are supporting the family at this difficult time,” their executive director for children’s service said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "We are currently carrying out a review of the case alongside partner agencies to better understand the circumstances, and we await the results of the coroner’s investigations as well. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved.”

Related: Family Trying to Live 'Off the Grid' Died of Malnutrition and Hypothermia, Teen Weighed 40 Lbs.: Autopsy

Bronson’s mother, Sarah Piesse, told The Sun that the last time she saw her son alive was before Christmas following a fight with her ex, the boy's dad. She said that officials "think Kenneth died no earlier than December 29" and that Bronson “starved to death because his dad died."

Maria Clifton-Plaice, the property’s landlady, said that she was “heartbroken” following the discovery of the victims’ bodies, according to the BBC.

"He was just probably the light of his dad's eye," the landlady told the outlet.

Related: Missing Boy, 8, Survived for 2 Days in Mich. Park by Eating Snow, Using Leaves for Warmth: Police

The Lincolnshire County Council said that the unidentified social worker handling Bronson’s case is taking time off following the incident but has not been suspended. They have initiated a "rapid review" of the case, which they said is standard procedure.

Police said in a statement that they've also "initiated a review with partners to properly understand the chronology of these tragic events."

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