Mother of two daughters (ages 14 and 4) Tracey Grinhaff (42) was murdered by her husband, Gary Grinhaff who died shortly afterwards of self-inflicted injuries. Mrs Grinhaff was in the process of separating from her husband.
The Times Online (05 May 2008 )
Husband and wife dead after Facebook confession
A woman and her husband found dead near their home had been in the process of splitting up, it emerged yesterday.
Tracey Grinhaff, 42, was found in a shed in the back garden of the family’s home in Wombwell, South Yorkshire, on Friday morning. She had head injuries. An hour later, police discovered the body of her husband, Gary, in nearby woodland with self-inflicted head and facial injuries.
Although the officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes, insisted that police were keeping an “open mind”, one line of inquiry is believed to be that Mr Grinhaff, 41, killed his wife before taking his own life.
The couple had two daughters, aged 4 and 14, and were, according to their neighbour, Enid Hindley, a “wonderful, close, loving family”.
Despite this, Mrs Grinhaff wrote on her Facebook profile just two weeks before she died that she was “currently splitting” from her husband, an electrical engineer. She added: “Been married for 16 years but together for 26!!!! God that makes me sound old.”
One man who lived near the family said that he believed Mr Grinhaff had recently discovered that his wife had been having an affair with another man.
But he added: “They were a lovely family. We didn’t live in each other’s pockets but they were always so friendly.”
Julie Kendall, who became friends with Mrs Grinhaff at a local mothers-and-toddlers group four years ago, said: “I didn’t really know her husband. But I do think it’s true that they were splitting up.”
Reports circulated within the community that the couple’s daughters knocked on a neighbour’s door with a note that said something bad had happened to their parents.
Mrs Kendall, 38, said: “It would have been the four-year-old’s birthday on Saturday.”
She described her friend as “genuine, caring and kind”, adding: “There are probably a handful of people that you would meet like Tracey in one lifetime. You couldn’t fault her for anything.”
On her Facebook profile, Mrs Grinhaff listed her interests as “ballet, skiing (snow and water), and reading”. Her favourite television programme was CSI, her favourite books were “crimes and thrillers” and she described her favourite music as “anything I can dance to”.
At the top of the page was a holiday snap of her and her daughter, Neve, hugging in pink sun dresses.
Mrs Hindley, who lived two doors away from the Grinhaff family since they moved in more than 18 years ago, said: “It’s just devastating. Everybody’s talking about it. Everybody’s in a state of shock. It’s just one of those things that you would never expect.”
Other neighbours called them a “perfect, little family” with “two lovely girls”.
“Tracey and Gary were just wonderful parents,” one woman said. “You couldn’t wish for any better.”
Post-mortem examinations carried out on Saturday confirmed that Mrs Grinhaff died from head injuries and Mr Grinhaff from apparently self-inflicted injuries.
In a statement yesterday, South Yorkshire Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.