THE deaths of an elderly couple found in their Newcastle home are being treated as unexplained by police.
The couple, named locally as James and Marjorie Arnett, of Biddlestone Road, Heaton, were discovered by police on Wednesday evening.
Officers have ruled out any third party involvement in the deaths of the couple, said to have been in their 80s.
Forensic tests are being carried out to establish the exact cause of death.
Residents living in the area have told of their shock. Neighbour Shamim Ahmed said: “They were a nice couple. We’ve been here 11 years and they’ve always said hello when they pass.
“We would see them in the street together holding hands.”
David Robertson, 62, who also lives nearby, said: “I’ve lived in this street since 1977 and they were here longer than that. They were well into their 80s.
“They would always walk together up to the shops and if I was out in the front doing the garden they would stop to have a look.
“I don’t think they were doing very well recently. Sometimes I would see them out in the street quite late at night and once I saw her walking in the road.
“I can’t remember the last time I saw them. I don’t think they had any family. I think it was just the two of them. It’s very sad.”
Another neighbour, Stuart Moffat, 25, said: “I didn’t know them well. I just saw them in the street sometimes. I don’t know what happened last night but there were police outside and gas vans.”
Although gas board workers were called to the property at the request of the police, no problems were found.
A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks said: “The gas supply was checked for safety and found to be in good order.”
A Newcastle City Council spokeswoman said the Arnetts were not known to the Adult Social Care department.
Officers were called to the scene at 6.44pm on Wednesday evening after receiving a report of concern for the occupants.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Post mortems have now been completed and as a result of the initial findings, police are not looking for any third party in connection with the deaths.”