Statement From Family Of Conley Thompson
7 August 2015, 12:36 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
The family of Conley Thompson whose body was found on a building site in South Yorkshire have hit back at criticisms about the seven-year-old playing out unsupervised.
Conley went missing last month after telling his mother he was going to play with friends in Barnsley.
His body was discovered the following day in a pipe on the building site in Worsbrough.
Conley was reported missing at 10.10pm on July 26 when he failed to return to his home in Worsbrough Dale.
Initial reports suggested he had gone to play in Locke Park, a mile away from the site and about two miles away from his home, but police said they believe he may have gone elsewhere before entering the construction site.
In a statement released by South Yorkshire Police, Conley's family said they would not have allowed him to visit the park alone and asked the public to be respectful and refrain from casting aspersions.
They said: "It is with great sadness and a broken heart that we find ourselves writing this. Words cannot describe the devastation we feel, especially for his mum.
"Firstly, the family would be grateful if any members of the community that are casting aspersions relating to Conley ever attending at Locke Park without an adult, either on the day he went missing or before that day, be kept to themselves.
"We want to make it very clear that we would never have allowed Conley to go to Locke Park without an adult at any time and the police are tracing his exact movements that night so we will be able to understand what happened and what led to us losing our playful and loving boy.
"For any parent, the loss of a child is unimaginable and, while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we would please ask people to bear in mind this is now an actual reality for us and please be respectful as his mum, and all of the family, try to come terms to a life without Conley."
A post-mortem examination found that Conley died after becoming stuck in a vertical pipe. South Yorkshire Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
Detectives said they are investigating the young boy's movements on the day of his death and working with the Health and Safety Executive to find out how Conley entered the building site, which was securely locked with a large perimeter fence.
Conley's funeral will be held in Barnsley on August 11.
His family said: "To describe Conley you would have to say he was cheeky, mischievous and loud, but also loving and caring, with a heart of gold.
"As with most boys his age, Conley lived life large and loud, with a zest for adventure and curiosity.''
The family said they had been overwhelmed by the support from across the UK since Conley's death and thanked people for their condolences. They also thanked the police and fire service for their work in searching for the seven-year-old.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen Conley after 6pm on Sunday July 26 to come forward.