Swimming pool deaths: Relatives pay tribute

Komba Kpakiwa, 31, and Josephine Foday, 22

Komba Kpakiwa, 31, and Josephine Foday, 22 - Credit: Archant

THE BROTHER of the man who drowned in a hotel swimming pool has paid tribute to his deceased sibling.

Gurpreet Kpakiwa had been married to Komba Kpakiwa for four years

Gurpreet Kpakiwa had been married to Komba Kpakiwa for four years - Credit: Archant

Komba Kpakiwa, 31, was found dead in a swimming pool at Down Hall Country House Hotel, Hatfield Heath, alongside Josephine Foday, 22, on Saturday.

Mr Kpakiwa had been married to his wife, Gurpreet, for four years and had a son, seven, and a daughter, six.

The nature of his relationship with Miss Foday has not been formally confirmed but his brother has said that Miss Foday was a family friend.

Shar Kpakiwa, brother of Mr Kpakiwa, 31, said: “What I know about my brother is that he was a nice and loyal man and he was respectful of his family and always proud of them.”

He added that his family do not yet know the circumstances surrounding the deaths and said his mother was flying to England from her family home in Sierra Leone.

According to Miss Foday’s grandmother, Theresa Farma, Mr Kpakiwa had taken her granddaughter to the four-star hotel as a birthday surprise.

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“She was very quiet; she went to church and did not drink alcohol or smoke. She wanted to be a nurse. To help people,” she said, speaking from her home in Plumstead, South London.

Miss Foday is reported to have been introduced to Mr Kpakiwa in February and she introduced him to her grandmother soon after. Ms Farma said: “I met him here at my house. He was very nice. The birthday trip was a surprise.”

Mr Kpakiwa and Miss Foday were found underwater on Saturday night and efforts made by staff and paramedics to resuscitate them were unsuccessful.

Chris Falcus, manager of the hotel said: “We are devastated by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those concerned.

“As soon as the alarm was raised two of our team dived into the pool and did everything they could to try to save them.

“We are co-operating fully with the police investigation.”

Chief Inspector Nick Lee, Uttlesford District Commander, said: “Officers attended the location and on arrival found two people submerged in the swimming pool.

“It is a very tragic set of circumstances. Two people being found in these circumstances is unusual and we are not looking for any other people at the moment.”