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Nurse brutally killed by ex in murder-suicide leaving four kids orphaned

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A NHS Covid-19 nurse had her throat brutally slashed with a craft knife by the estranged father of her four children in a horrific murder-suicide, an inquest heard.

Esther Egbon, 30, was discovered almost decapitated in the back of her BMW two hours before the body of her ex-partner, 36-year-old Igie Erabor, was found in a nearby building, the hearing was told.

The estranged couple, who were both born in Nigeria and have four children aged ten, eight, six, and three, were each found with horrific slash wounds to their necks in Dagenham, east London, on Saturday, August 8 last year.

Separate inquests into their deaths were held at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court on Monday.

It is thought delivery driver Erabor killed Miss Egbon before taking the lift to the top of the tallest building nearby in a bid to take his own life.

But with no access to the roof, it was suggested he resorted to slitting his own throat and he was found in a pool of blood on the 16th floor.

Detective Constable Laurence Dight told the inquest: ”I believe the logical and reasonable conclusion of mine, based on my information, is that he caused his own death after unfortunately and tragically taking Miss Egbon’s life earlier on.

Police ruled that the incident was an isolated domestic murder-suicide.

Miss Egbon worked at King George Hospital in Ilford where she was treating coronavirus patients after her gastroenterology ward was converted to help deal with the pandemic. She was described by loved ones as a bold and beautiful character.

The day before the tragedy, Miss Egbon looked for articles related to her ex’s fitness as a parent and to have access to the children, evidence from the police investigation suggests.

Search history on her device suggests she researched ”what rights does my ex have with regards to our children” and” ten factors used to determine if a parent is unfit for custody in 2020.”

Mental health sites were also visited, she also researched ”should a mental illness mean you lose your kid?” and ”the father of my kids has mental health issues. How do I explain it to them?”

DC Dight said: ”This I believe gives us a bit of a window into what she was thinking about at the time.”

Revisiting the subject during Mr Erabor’s inquest which immediately followed, he added: ”I think it is reasonable to expect that that subject or those types of titles would be causing anger or some sort of negativity between the two of them.”

Three days prior to the murder-suicide, Mr Erabor was caught on CCTV buying a pack of craft knives from a Poundland in Romford.

Mr Erabor, who was living in his Volkswagen Golf, then walked to Miss Egbon’s workplace on the morning of the tragedy and waited for more than an hour until she finished her shift.

The pair spoke briefly in the car park before Miss Egbon drove them to a residential street where they parked up for around 40 minutes.

During this time, CCTV shows the pair getting out of the car to sit in the back seat which is the last sighting of Miss Egbon alive.

She was discovered shortly after in the footwell of the car, which was abandoned with the engine still running, surrounded by craft knives.

A post mortem revealed she had been partially decapitated and also suffered cuts to her face, arm and leg and slashed hands where it was suggested she was defending herself.

Minutes later, her estranged husband was seen entering Hawkwell House which DC Dight described as the tallest building nearby.

The inquest heard Mr Erabor called his cousin Mr Erhabo and told him he was going to kill himself but did not mention Miss Egbon.

Reports submitted to the inquest in evidence showed previous allegations of domestic violence were reported to social services by the estranged couple’s children, but they were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

The inquest heard that this is not a case in which a domestic homicide review will be conducted but it will be put to the Home Office quality assurance panel to make a final decision.

Senior Coroner Nadia Persaud recorded Miss Egbon’s death as an unlawful killing with a medical cause of death as ‘incised wound of the neck and partial decapitation.’

Mr Erabor’s death was recorded as a result of suicide with a medical cause of death given as ‘incised wound of the neck.’

Before the inquest, Ms Egbon’s family, who were not represented, described her as an extraordinary, kind and friendly woman who refused to be scared of Coronavirus when her ward began to treat Covid-19 patients.

In a GoFundMe page set up to pay for Esther’s funeral and support the orphaned children, they called her a bold and beautiful lady who was passionate and very much loved by people wherever she went.

In a statement read by the Coroner, Mr Erabor’s family gave an emotional tribute.

It read: ”Our brother was a wonderful father to his four children. He was angered, confused and frustrated due to relationship issues not knowing that there are other ways out of the situation.

”He stabbed his wife and he stabbed himself, leaving behind four lovely children to this world. We are devastated. Words cannot explain how much pain and confusion the tragedy has brought into our family.

”We are all left with unanswered questions as to why somebody would destroy his own life and that of his family. The family have been deprived access to the four lovely children both left behind.”

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