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Durban -

A mother and her adult son were found hanged at their Illovo Beach home on Monday by their parish priest in what appears to be a double suicide.

Pamela Gibbon, 69, and her son Collin, 40, ran a bakery shop in the South Coast community.

They were found after the Catholic priest wondered what had happened to them when they didn’t fulfil a bread order at the weekend and then were not at their shop.

Collin’s older brother, Michael, 47, from Johannesburg, said

the priest became alarmed when he noticed the store was closed on Monday, but the Gibbon’s car was parked at their home.

“The priest asked the landlord to open the door and they found them dead,” Michael said.

He said his family left a suicide note that asked him “not to worry”.

Michael said the double death confused him and he suspected they might have had financial difficulties.

“They had the shop and always told me they were doing well. I am not really certain what happened and I can’t speculate,” he said.

Michael said that earlier this year the Gibbons buried Collin’s twin brother Sydney.

Sydney became ill and passed away peacefully, but his death took a huge toll on the family. And now this happens? It is a very big shock. Right now I need to be in Durban so that I can make the funeral arrangements.”

Michael said he spent time with his mother in December when he was on holiday.

His older brother Anthony, 48, who also lives in Johannesburg and was also mentioned in the suicide note, was traumatised.

“He is taking it very badly.

“My mom and brother were close to the priest. I don’t know why they did this.

“They baked a lot for church functions. I am sure he is just as shocked.”

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket had been opened at Amanzimtoti police station.

There were no signs of forced entry and nothing had been stolen.

The Mercury