To neighbours and acquaintances Lisa Clay and her partner Paul Chadwick appeared happy in each other’s company.
But tragically Lisa was found stabbed to death along with her six-year-old son Joseph Chadwick at their semi-detached bungalow in Bolton-le-Sands.
Police arrested 34-year-old Paul Chadwick after he was found with self-inflicted stab wounds in the house.
He remains in a serious condition in the Royal Preston Hospital.
Joseph, who attended nearby Bolton-le-Sands Primary School, was found by detectives in his upstairs bedroom where he had been ‘attacked with a knife’.
Lisa was found downstairs, having also suffered fatal knife wounds.
Police launched a murder investigation following the gruesome discovery.
Shocked neighbours, who said the family had only been in the house for a matter of weeks, expressed their disbelief at the news of the double murder.
One neighbour, Pete Hammersley, who was walking his dog, said: “They were a youngish family and they only moved in a few weeks ago, we saw them with vans and boxes.
“It’s just a shock and not something you expect in Bolton-le-Sands, which is a quiet, polite area.”
Another neighbour said: “I am so upset. I feel sick to the core.
“They were a friendly, relaxed and chatty family who I often spoke to over the garden fence.
“I even sent them a card to say ‘Good luck in your new home’.
“When I asked them why they had moved here from Morecambe, they said it was because they didn’t have many friends there.”
Neighbours said Joseph had just started at Bolton-le-Sands Primary after Christmas and would often play football in the back garden with his mum.
Tim Cross, headteacher at Bolton-le-Sands CE Primary, said: “We are all shocked and deeply saddened by the untimely loss of Joseph and his mother.
“Joseph had only attended our school for a few months, but within that time he had endeared himself to us as a lovely, lively boy, full of fun, and quickly making friends in his year group. We will make sure that pupils are given all the help and support they need to come to terms with this news.
“The thoughts and prayers of all of us – pupils, parents, staff and governors – are with Joseph and his family at this very sad time.”
Neighbour Janet Morley said: “Lisa was really looking forward to moving into their new house.
“They’d recently had a party for Joseph’s sixth birthday and he seemed such a happy child.’
“I never heard them fighting. They were not one of those families from hell and I just feel so sick for their family.”
Floral tributes have been left outside the family’s house.
One said: ‘Rest In Peace little man and your mom’. Another said: ‘I know you are in good hands, now Rest In Peace’.
Detective Superintendent Paul Withers, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is being treated as a murder inquiry although at this stage I must point out that I am not looking for anybody else in connection with this incident.
“I would ask that if anybody has any information which they believe could assist our investigation then to contact police.
“Incidents like this do send a sense of shock through the community and our neighbourhood policing officers are in the area and I would urge anyone who has any concerns to speak to their local officers who will allay any fears.”
Police were called to the house on Lowlands Road in Bolton-le-Sands at 11.40am last Tuesday.
The murders were believed to have happened within 24 hours of the discovery of the bodies. Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.