THE grieving family of a mum and son who died in an Essex village say their lives “will never be the same again” as a murder investigation continues.

Maria Nugara, 54, and 29-year-old son Giuseppe Morreale were pronounced dead last Tuesday after suffering serious injuries at an address in Ugley near Bishop’s Stortford.

Ms Nugara's husband has appeared in court charged with murdering his wife and her son.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, their family shared their wish to see justice for their mum and brother.

The statement said: “We would like to pay tribute to our mum Maria and brother Giuseppe, also known as Joe.

“Our mum Maria was loving and dedicated to her four children and grandson.

“No matter what, she always had a smile and a positive outlook on life.

“Her infectious energy and her vibrant personality was always a joy to be around.

“Joe always had a cheeky smile and a loving heart. He loved his family and was always there for them.

“He had a very close bond with mum, and always looked out for her.

“Life will never be the same again. It’s not fair that they have been taken away from us.

“As you can imagine our family is devastated. Losing both of them has caused a massive void in our hearts.

“We hope to get justice for our mum and brother Joe.

“We would appreciate if you would respect the privacy of our family at this time.”

DI Lydia George, of Essex Police, said: “My thoughts are with Maria and Giuseppe’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Our officers will be supporting them while our work continues in this investigation.”

Ms Nugara’s husband, Calogero Ricotta, 63, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday.

Appearing by video link from HMP Peterborough, Ricotta spoke to confirm his name and was not asked to enter pleas to the two counts of murder and one of actual bodily harm.

He is due to appear at the same court for a plea hearing on August 16.

Judge Christopher Morgan remanded Ricotta, of Cambridge Road, Ugley, in custody until then.

Essex Police said it received a call at 9.50pm last Tuesday reporting that two people had been seriously injured at an address in Cambridge Road.

Officers attended the scene and found Ms Nugara and Mr Morreale, who were both pronounced dead at the scene.