A PCSO was led to the body of a dead mum after he spotted a toddler wandering the streets alone who told him: “I am going to nursery. I can’t wake mummy up.”
Tragic Nicolla Rushton, 30, was discovered after the young girl showed police the way back to her home last Wednesday.
The off-duty officer, who has not been identified, had been driving along the street with his wife when he spotted the tot wandering down the road by herself at about 11am.
He stopped his car and went over to talk to the girl who said she had been making her own way to nursery because she could “not wake mummy up.”
The PCSO and his wife then followed the youngster as she led them to the property on Shobnall Road, Burton-on-Trent, and found Nicolla dead inside.
He called emergency services and stayed with the little girl until they arrived but the mum-of-one was pronounced dead at the scene.
The heartbreaking details emerged today as it was revealed police were not treating the death of Ms Rushton as suspicious.
Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, from Staffordshire Police, has since praised his officer and said his actions showed police “are never off duty.”
He said: “This is a brilliant piece of work by him that shows that we are never off duty.
“The officer and his wife took the time to look after the little girl and stay with her until emergency services arrived.
“Sadly nothing could be done to help the woman.
“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at this difficult time. The little girl is now safe with family.
“I must also praise the community who all came together and helped the police with their inquiries. Thank you.”
Staffordshire Police said they were called to the house by colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service after Ms Rushton was found, shortly before 11am.
She was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after they arrived.
A spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.
“On arrival, crews discovered a woman patient.
“Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene.”
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said Ms Rushton was very ‘quiet’, and added: “She just kept herself to herself
“I am gobsmacked, I didn’t know her that well but from what I saw she seemed very happy and loved her little girl.
“She was the quiet type and it is just really upsetting. It is so shocking when it happens on your doorstep. It is just awful.”
East Staffordshire borough councillor Bill Ganley, who is also a Shobnall parish councillor, said he was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the death.
He said: “It is absolutely tragic. People are shocked.
“I expected it to be a much older person. People’s hearts are going out to the family and especially to the child.
“What has happened is terribly upsetting and many people in the area have expressed sympathy about the incident.”
A report is being prepared for the coroner.