Locals say the boat on the Norfolk Broads was tied up for over a week before the grim discovery was made

When a Broads hireboat failed to return at the end of its charter on Saturday 1st September, company staff alerted the police who found the vessel on the River Bure on Sunday.

Onboard the boat was a 13-year-old girl, however her mother and stepfather were missing. Police closed a mile-long section of the river, while divers conducted a search. Two bodies were found, which have now been identified as the boyfriend and girlfriend.
 
Riverusers have said that they had seen the boat moored up in the same place for at least seven days. A man who sells ice cream from his boat told the Telegraph newspaper that he approached the boat having seen it tied up in the same place for the last seven or eight days. “As I approached a man was inside and drew the curtains. He just waved me off.”
 
Another witness said that people taking part in the annual Salhouse Broad raft race also saw it tethered up on Sunday 26 August.
 
The boat is being inspected by forensic officers and has had a number of items removed, including a bloodstained sheet. Post-mortem examination results have since shown that the woman was dead before entering

the water, while the man drowned.

Det Supt Jes Fry, of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, who is overseeing the investigation, said: “Our main consideration is the welfare of the 13-year-old girl”.

It is understood that the Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

A Broads hireboat similar to the one the family hired. (Library shot)