A mother stabbed to death alongside her five-year-son has been pictured for the first time. Yi Chen, who lived in Brookside South, Barnet, North London was killed in her home at about 1.35pm on Tuesday (June 21) after both she and her son, Duan Duan, had sustained stab wounds. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Family gathered outside their family home yesterday to lay tributes for Yi Chen, who has been described as ‘doting mother’ by those who knew her, as reported by the Mirror. Amongst the tributes left were several toys, including cars and Harry Potter toys, as well as a written tribute on a placard. It reads: “There is no evil and suffering in heaven! Rest in peace! Thanks for the happiness, you will be remembered!”
Speaking to MailOnline, Yi Chen’s friend and former neighbour said: “She was perfect… She stayed inside a lot of the time, but when I did see her, she was outside having fun with her children. Her youngest son was Duan Duan. He was a cheeky little boy but full of character, even at the young age he was when they lived here.”
READ MORE: Mum and young son, 5, found stabbed to death in their North London home
The 37-year-old and her son were seen to by London Ambulance Service paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance were called but despite efforts neither Yi Chen nor her son could be saved. Police enquiries are ongoing in determining what happened to Yi Chen and her son, and a 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the double murder. He is believed to have been known to Yi Chen and her son.
Neighbours in the community near to where Yi Chen and her son were stabbed to death are coming to terms with their loss and have spoken out about their shock and sadness at the double murder which took place on their doorstep.
Maxwell Sol, 56, who lives on the adjoining street to Brookside South, Friars walk, told MyLondon: “I didn’t know the family personally but I would see them when I walked to the shop and stuff. They were always smiling as you would imagine a family would.
“The child, he was often with his mum.
“They never looked sad. The child had so much time to live and the mum was only young as well. The whole area seems in a low mood.
“It’s probably the worst thing that’s happened in the area ever. I can’t remember anything worse.”
Local resident Glen Hastings, 55, who lives on the road adjacent to the home of the mum and son, told MyLondon: “It was strange because we didn’t hear a commotion or any big event happening. We woke up and there was a crime scene.
“You never know whats going through people’s heads. It will just be back to normal when the crime scene is gone but those of us that live round here will know what happened in that house.
“It will be hard not to think about it when I walk my dog. Five years old. Horrible.”
Chief superintendent Sara Leach, policing commander for the North West including Barnet, said: “The whole community will be shocked and saddened to hear of this terrible incident. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman and child who have died and also with the officers and paramedics who were first to arrive at what was an incredibly challenging scene.
“Specialist detectives are working to establish what took place and a man is in custody. While they are keeping an open mind as to what has taken place, I would like to reassure residents in the local area that there is nothing to indicate, at this stage, that anyone else was involved in this incident.
“I would urge anyone who saw or heard anything unusual earlier today, or in recent days, to come forward and speak to the police. Your information could be vital as the investigation moves forward.”
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Becky, 39, who lives on the street, told PA: “Oh my God, it’s just shocking, it really is… I knew the family, nice, quiet Chinese family, from China. I’m bad with names. I’m a mother of two girls, similar age [to the child victim], they have never played but they have met them before. I have cried so much, earlier in particular when I heard that a child was involved, that was devastating.”
An investigation has been launched, led by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command and a 37-year-old man who was known to the victims, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 quoting the reference 3590/21JUN.
Alternatively, it can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Matt is a trainee reporter specialising in LGBT+ issues, including speaking to LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell ahead of the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride in the UK, an interview with an ex-Lieutenant Commander who was forced to keep his sexuality a secret in the Armed Forces for 20 years who lost his partner to AIDS two days before he left the Navy, and speaking to the founder of The Gay Men’s Dance Company, which offers pole dancing classes, among others.
Got a story? You can reach Matt at email@example.com or DM him on Twitter via @mattlspivey.
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