Natalie Kane and her 14-month-old son, Harry, were discovered by police five days after missing the Christmas Day plans.

A loving mum and her baby were tragically found dead just days after she failed to show up to a friend’s house on Christmas. Natalie Kane and her 14-month-old son, Harry, were discovered by police in their flat in Whitehaven, Cumbria – five days after missing the Christmas Day plans.

An inquest on Tuesday (September 6) concluded that baby Harry had passed away from dehydration after being left alone when mum Natalie died as a result of substance abuse. She had previously struggled with addiction, however no drugs were detected in her urine when it was tested the week before her death other than her prescribed methadone.

The parent had grown up in Cumbria before travelling the world with the Sea Cadets, the Mirror reports. She had previously modelled for Littlewoods and later enlisted in the Army where she worked as HGV driver, before being discharged due to alcohol abuse.

Natalie lived with depression throughout much of her life and was receiving support from services including Recovery Steps Cumbria and Women Out West after drug addiction and domestic abuse. All those who knew her and gave evidence to the inquest spoke of her as a loving and devoted mother whose life revolved around Harry.

She would take him to the park every day and had no childcare as she wanted to be with him as much as she could. Her brother Scott recalled the excitement when she told of her pregnancy and noted she grew up a lot from that point.

She was not thought to have taken drugs after Harry’s birth and engaged happily with those services. In the lead up to her death, she saw friends and spent some time with Scott who had brought a balance bike as a Christmas present for Harry.

She was excited for a first “proper” Christmas with Harry and had bought lots of presents for him to enjoy. On Christmas Eve, she had been shopping at Tesco in Whitehaven and spent some time with a friend.

The mum was due to visit her grandmother but was unable to when a train was cancelled. On Christmas Day, she had planned to visit another friend, Stacey Hackett, with Harry but stopped responding to messages the previous evening.

Stacey was not concerned when the pair did not show up as this was not considered to be unusual and she believed they had instead gone to spend the day with their family. It was also not unusual for Natalie to go several days without speaking to her family and friends.

On December 30, concern was raised over the fact Natalie had not picked up a prescription or been in contact with any of the services and the police were contacted. An officer attended and could get no response at the address. He spoke to neighbours in the surrounding flats who recalled not seeing her for a few days.

The neighbour directly below recalled hearing a tap running constantly but no other noises. The officer received permission to enter the property, which was unlocked, and discovered Natalie lying in the living room next to unopened Christmas presents.

Harry’s body was then found in the bathroom. Post mortems were carried out and it is believed that Harry may have survived for two to three days after his mum’s death before succumbing to the effects of dehydration.

In a statement summarised by the coroner’s assistant Margaret Taylor, Scott said: “She was one of the best mams I’ve ever seen. She was so loving, thoughtful and caring. The last year of her life was revolved around Harry.”

Harry was described as a happy baby who clearly loved his mother.

Concluding the inquest, the coroner said: “She’d done so well, she’d changed her life around, she clearly wasn’t abusing heroin which had been her drug of choice. Natalie Kane died at her home address on an unknown time between the 24th and 25th of December.