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Family of two-year-old who died in Modbury reveal how boy will be 'forever in our hearts''

By Jon_Bayley  |  Posted: January 23, 2013

  • Shaun Ryleigh Vane


The family of a two-year-old boy who died in a Devon village have today paid tribute to their 'lovely little boy'.

Shaun Vane, who is also known as Shaun Ryleigh O'Neill, was found dead in Modbury on Saturday.

His mother, Angela Vane, has been since been charged with murder.

In a statement issued by Devon & Cornwall police, Shaun's brother and sister said: "Shaun Ryleigh Vane will forever be deeply in our hearts and souls. Such a fantastic little brother, so bright he is our little sunshine. Rest in peace little brother we love you. Your loving siblings Lee and Lucy Vane”

Shaun's father, Ryan O'Neill, said: "We are deeply saddened and shocked by the recent tragic events and grieving the loss of a lovely little boy. A light has gone from our lives. Shaun was much loved by all his family. A happy little boy will be forever in our hearts and thoughts."

The tributes come as police made a "heartfelt appeal" for witnesses as the case of Angela Vane, from Champernowne in Modbury.

The body of her son was found at a property in the village on Saturday following a report to the police.

Investigating officers have made an appeal for anyone who may have seen a woman walking between Modbury and Wrangaton in the hours leading up to the discovery.

The woman in question was seen walking along the countryside route between 2am and 8.15am on Saturday, January 19.

She is described as having fair, shoulder-length hair and wearing a black jacket, black jeans and green Wellington boots.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101, quoting log number 0218 of 190113.

Detective Inspector John Ardron, from the city-based Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "This is a tragic case.

"We are supporting all the family members with specially trained officers.

"I can't imagine how the family feel at this time. I can only sympathise with them.

"The investigation is proceeding, with lines of enquiry being progressed.

"I would like to make a heartfelt appeal to anyone with information to call the police, it would assist us greatly."

Yesterday a police cordon was still surrounding the property in Champernowne.

More cards, flowers and teddy bears had been left outside in tribute to the tragic youngster.

Neighbours were still in shock about the news.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: "It's a complete mystery what happened.

"It's a complete shock to us, we can't believe it at all."

Another added: "We haven't come to terms with it.

"We can't believe this has happened on our doorstop."

And another Modbury resident paid tribute to the toddler.

"Shaun was such a wonderful child," they said.

"He was the kind of little boy where you'd walk past and he would smile at you.

"Everyone knew him. He was a little soldier. It's all very tragic."

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