A West Midlands woman who killed her five-year-old son before taking her own life after claiming she had cancer was not suffering from the disease, police said yesterday.
The bodies of Emma Hart, 27, and her son, Lewis Dangerfield, were found at separate addresses in Tipton, Sandwell, on Sunday. Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with their deaths.
A friend of the young mother said Ms Hart had just months to live after being diagnosed with a stomach tumour.
But police yesterday said that Ms Hart was not receiving cancer treatment and they will "never know" why Ms Hart claimed to have the disease.
Detective Chief Inspector Danny Long, crime manager at West Bromwich police station, said: "The families of Emma and Lewis have been extremely upset by the recent media coverage following their deaths. Most of this coverage can only be described as speculation.
"We would like to clarify on behalf of the families that Emma had not been diagnosed with cancer and therefore was not receiving treatment.
"We do not know, and will never know, why Emma said she had the disease.
"We would be grateful if the media respects the privacy of the families at what is clearly a very distressing time."
Post-mortem results showed that Ms Hart died of haemorrhaging, but pathologists were unable to confirm a cause of death for Lewis.
In a statement released by police, Lewis's father, Shaun Dangerfield, described his loss as "devastating" and revealed how he had been planning for Christmas.
Ms Hart's family said: "We are devastated at the loss of our daughter and grandson.
"Emma was a loving daughter, sister and mum." Tributes were piling up yesterday outside the home in Walker Street, Tipton, that Ms Hart shared with her son.
Bouquets of flowers, plants, cards and stuffed toys were left by well-wishers. One card read: "Have lots of fun in heaven Lewis, your mommy loved you. See you later."
Another, attached to a teddy bear, said simply: "Sweet dreams Lewis."
The windows and door to the property have been boarded up since Sunday's tragedy.
Neighbours have described Ms Hart as a quiet, friendly woman who "kept herself to herself".
Next-door neighbour Mrs Bradley, who would not give her first name, said: "I have only spoken to her a few times in the six months she has been here.
"She was very nice, and she kept the place clean and tidy, but she wasn't one for talking.
"She kept herself to herself most of the time. "I used to see the little one playing out in the back garden quite a lot though.
"He was full of energy, always jumping around. "Every time I think of him being next door on Sunday night all alone I just want to cry my eyes out. It is so sad."
It is believed Lewis's body was discovered at the Walker Street address and Ms Hart was found at her mother's flat in nearby Henley Close.