A nurse found dead alongside her seven-year-old son is believed to have feared a legal battle with the father of her child.
Sinead Higgins, 37, was found with her son Oisin O’Driscoll in their Ruislip home on Wednesday after officers forced their way into the £500,000 rented property.
It is thought police may have alerted by Sinead’s former partner, barrister Shane O’Driscoll, who was seen sitting outside the house on Monday after Oisin failed to turn up at school.
Neighbours said Higgins, who previously worked at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, may have lain dead in the house since Saturday or Sunday.
Barbara Lonnan, who lived nearby, said Higgins had become depressed after her relationship ended and worried she would face a legal battle with her former partner.
She said: “She’s going to be really missed, she was a lovely girl.
“She kept herself to herself, if she was going shopping I would say Hi to her but that was that.
“When she first came here two years ago she was really bubbly but gradually she got more and more depressed.
“I think it was because of her boyfriend and life in general getting on top of her.
“She also said the landlord had put up the rent and she didn’t know how she could pay for it.
“She would just wear jeans and a long brown coat and looked untidy, she didn’t really make an effort anymore.
“It was so sad to see. I told her there are people who can get you help, but I don’t think she ever went.
“She used to do shift work I think at the Chelsea Hospital because she said she used to treat the professional players when they got injured, like Chelsea and Arsenal players.
“But towards the end she didn’t go into work anymore because she was too ill.
Oisin went to St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary school near where he lived with his mother.
Lonnan added: “He was a very happy little boy. I used to see him got picked up by other parents from the school to go and play football.”
Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating the deaths as a murder inquiry.
On Wednesday at around 11am, officers forced their way into a house in The Fairway, Ruislip following welfare concerns being raised for the occupants.
Lonnan said: “I last saw her on Saturday, her boyfriend came and sat outside in his car on his phone on Monday for around half an hour then left.
“I think it was him that reported it to the police as Oisin has not been to school.
“Then the police came round on Tuesday and asked if I had seen her and to call them if I saw her, then they came back on Wednesday and found them.
“It still hasn’t sunk in she’s gone, I just can’t believe it.
“I know she was depressed but to take him as well, her family must be devastated.”
The Met Police say the next of kin have been informed and post-mortem examinations are scheduled to take place on Friday.
Detective Inspector Dave Bolton, from the Homicide and Major Crime, said: “The investigation is at a very early stage but enquiries so far lead us to believe there is a likelihood that the tragic events that led to the deaths do not involve a third party. We are appealing to anyone who has any information to come and speak with us.”
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