A married couple who died in a suspected suicide pact were being investigated by police on suspicion of sexually abusing a child.

Alphira and Chris Rivers had been arrested by Sussex Police on suspicion of committing sexual offences against a girl and were due to answer bail for the offence just days after they died.

The couple looked set to learn whether they would be charged and face court hearings.

It is believed the offences they faced took place in Haywards Heath where they lived until January this year.

Their bodies were found in the £230,000 terraced home they shared in Whyke Marsh, Chichester, on November 8, which they moved in to in January.

A source said there were bottles of whiskey and prescription drugs surrounding the couple.


A friend of the pair, who asked not to be named, said: “They feared the abuse charges.

“They did not want to be separated.

“When Alphira got with Chris she distanced herself from many of her friends.

“[As a couple] they had been talking about committing suicide for a while.

“They were both very depressed and feared being separated.

“I had talked to them about committing suicide and trying to talk them out of it.

“I think they agreed to kill themselves because they were both so devastated by the charges and agreed that they did not want to be separated.”

He said he thought they had taken their own lives with alcohol and sleeping tablets.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “A man and woman, aged 44 and 27, were being investigated for historic sexual offences against a child and had been due to answer bail on Crawley police station on Friday, November 16.”

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