Missing mum and tot seen smiling together as pal says ‘tears won’t stop falling’

A friend of a missing mum and her two-year-old daughter has described her heartbreak after two bodies were found in a house in Dundee.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she first met Bennylyn Burke at a birthday party two years ago.

She watched on as the 25-year-old became a "loving" mother to little Jellica and said she had prayed for the pair to be found alive.

The friend told BristolLive her tears "couldn’t stop falling" when she found out two bodies had been found.

Bennlyn's friend added that the news was so shocking that she couldn't sleep for two or three days.

She said: "I was crying and crying. I felt so down and kept on praying and hoping that they are still alive.

"I can't explain what I felt, sometimes I forgot what I was going to do in my daily chores.

"We prayed together by Zoom on Mother's Day.

"The moment we knew the bodies had been found, we were so sad.

"My tears can't stop falling, it is so painful."

The friend, who also shared beautiful pictures of the mother and child, continued: "Bennylyn was so friendly and such a loving mother.

"She smiles all the time, a simple and happy woman. Jellica is such a sweet little girl, very cuddly.

"The moment we see each other, she always gave you a cuddle and then always sat on your lap and kissed you."

It is understood Bennylyn moved to Bristol from the Philippines two years ago after marrying.

She lived in Staple Hill before moving to Kingswood in 2020, it has been reported.

On March 18, Police Scotland confirmed two bodies had been found concealed within a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee.

Formal identification is yet to take place but the relatives of Bennlyn and Jellica have been informed of the discovery.

A post mortem will take place to establish their cause of death.

Andrew Innes is accused of murdering Bennlyn with a hammer at home between February 17 and March 5. The death of Jellica was “by means unknown”.

Detective Superintendent Graeme Mackie, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: "This is a significant development in what has been a particularly challenging enquiry for everyone involved.

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“Bennylyn’s family have been informed of this development and we will continue to support them at this difficult time as our investigation continues.

"The thoughts of everyone involved in this investigation are with them at this time.

"I would like to thank the local community for their co-operation with what is a large and complex police operation involving many specialist resources from across Police Scotland.

"There will continue to be a significant police presence in the area for some time and I would ask anyone with information to please come forward and speak to us."

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