MORE than a hundred crying mourners gathered on the beach today to pay tribute to a mum and daughter found dead in a burger van.
Family and friends of Leah Churchill, 50, and Brooke Wanstall, 17, clapped and cheered “love you” as they released pink heart, L and B shaped balloons over the sea before having a drink and party in their memory.
4More than a hundred crying mourners gathered in Herne Bay as they paid their respects to Leah Churchill and Brooke WanstallCredit: The Sun4Family and friends of Leah Churchill, 50, and Brooke Wanstall, 17, clapped and cheered ‘love you’ in Kent on WednesdayCredit: The SunThey were seen in tears and hugging each other on Herne Bay beach in Kent before Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ movingly blared out from speakers as the balloons floated away.
Leah’s son Tyla, 26, found his mum and sister on his birthday on Tuesday morning when he arrived at the Meat ‘N’ Greet snack van in Whitstable for work.
The pair had been in there the night before putting up decorations for his birthday and are thought to have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.
Son Tyla, 26, heartbreakingly told The Sun before the balloon release: “I knew my mum and my sister was dead when my mum never messaged me happy birthday.
“She would’ve messaged me happy birthday.
“My sister’s a baby. She’s 17. I’ve now got me and my sister and my little brother left without a sister and a mum.
“I’m not coping with it yet. My mum did anything for anyone.
“My sister was a sarcy little 17-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her.
“She’s not going to experience being 18 and going out clubbing legally. All right she did it, but you know what I mean.
“The one positive is that they were together and it was a painless death.”
It is thought Leah must have started the petrol generator at the burger van for power and to keep warm.
It is kept outside when used during working hours but left inside the wagon overnight for security reasons.
Floral tributes were left at the scene on Wednesday.
One tribute said: “I can’t believe I’m writing this. You are going to be missed by everyone who knew you (well, most) lol.
“Can’t understand why this has happened to you and your beautiful Brooke. It’s so cruel.”
Another wrote: “Leah and Brooke, you were both funny and loving.
“People who would do anything for other friends and family. “You will both be missed by so many people. RIP.”
Brooke is survived by three siblings who were said to be “all like best friends” – Tyla, Ocean, 23, and 12-year-old Sonny.
4Leah’s son Tyla found his mum and sister on his birthday on Tuesday morningCredit: The Sun4L and B shaped balloons were released over the sea in tribute to the pair who tragically diedCredit: The Sun
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk