A two-year-old toddler was found cuddling the lifeless body of his pregnant mother 24 hours after she died suddenly in the front seat of her car, it emerged yesterday (Thurs).
Tragic Alina Roberts, 33, had taken her two-year-old son Benjamin for a day out at a children’s farm but became gravely ill while driving home on February 15.
The primary school teacher, who was 22 weeks pregnant, was not found until the following day after the alarm was raised by her concerned husband Alex.
Police discovered the car in a residential street in Long Eaton, Derbys., at 2pm the following day.
Heartbreakingly, little Benjamin had wriggled out of his car seat and was clinging to his mum’s body in the front of the vehicle.
Derbyshire Police have ruled out suicide or any suspicious circumstances and a coroner is now investigating the harrowing case.
Yesterday (Thurs) Alex, a database manager for Thomson Reuters, told how he desperately drove around trying to find Alina, who he had married just nine months earlier.
Alex, 36, said: “It’s devastating to know she won’t be able to see Benjamin growing up and what should have been our bigger family.
“I will miss living our lives together and sharing those experiences with her.
“I was supposed to go with them but at the last moment I said I would stay and do some tidying up.
“We had a kiss and a cuddle when they left. After about an hour, I sent her a message asking if they were having fun.
“It was about 3.30pm when she replied to say she was coming back in 10 minutes.
“After a while, I tried phoning her but it went straight to answer phone.
“Eventually, I went out in the car and drove the route I thought she would have taken but I couldn’t find her.
“Benjamin is fine but he was obviously scared and frightened. He had been in the car all that time.
“She was a very kind, loving and caring person and a very loyal friend. Family was very important to her and motherhood came naturally.
“She had a very special relationship with Benjamin, which I will always remind him of.”
The funeral of Alina, who was a teacher at Chetwynd Primary Academy, in Toton, Notts., took place last Saturday (28/3).
Friends of Alina, who grew up in Long Eaton took to the internet to pay tribute to her online.
Gareth Cummins wrote: “There are so many people whose lives you’ve touched who will be that bit sadder and emptier because of this senseless loss.”
Lorraine Tonks, principal of Chetwynd Primary Academy, said: “Alina was one of the hardest-working, caring and kindest teachers I’ve worked with.
“She had an infectious laugh and was loved by staff, children and parents.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “We were made aware the afternoon before the car was found.
“We received a call at 5pm on February 15 and were told there were two missing people.
“The car was discovered at about 2pm the next day, but the woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious or as suicide.
“It is now in the hands of the coroner.”