Head of Prestigious UK School Found Dead on Campus Alongside Husband, 7-Year-Old Daughter

Emma Pattison, 45, had only been head of Epsom College for six months when she and her husband, George, and daughter, Lettie, 7, were found dead

British authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of a private school head whose body was found alongside that of her husband and young daughter on campus grounds early Sunday.

Police were called to Epsom College in Surrey, just south of London, at 1:10 a.m., by the South East Coast Ambulance Service, where they found the bodies of Emma Pattison, 45, her husband, George, 39, and her daughter, Lettie, 7, Surrey Police say in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Police launched an investigation to "establish the circumstances of their deaths," police say in the statement.

Authorities are "confident that this is an isolated incident with no third-party involvement," the statement says.

Pattison had only been head teacher of the upscale private school for about six months when she was found dead, The Independent reports.

She became the school's first female head when she took on the job at the school, which was founded in 1855, the BBC reports.

Prior to that she had spent six years as head teacher of Croydon High School in South London, according to the BBC.

Her husband was an accountant who was director of a management consultancy firm, the BBC reports.

Becoming head teacher at Epsom College was "a really big change for my family," she told a student-run podcast in December. "I've got a new job, my husband got a new job, which wasn't meant to happen, but did, and my daughter has started a new school."

Emma Pattison and Lettie
Emma Pattison and Lettie. Emma Pattison/Twitter

Police did not say how the family died or where exactly they were found.

The Telegraph reports that gunshots were heard shortly before the family's bodies were found.

The school's rifle range was cordoned off Monday morning, according to The Telegraph.

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said in the statement that authorities "will conduct a through investigation into what took place last night, and hope to be able to bring some peace in these traumatic circumstances."

The three deaths have rocked the usually quiet town.

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"We're aware that this tragic incident will have caused concern and upset in the local community," Inspector Jon Vale, Epsom and Ewell's Borough Commander, said in the statement.

"While this is believed to be an isolated incident, in the coming days, our local officers will remain in the area to offer reassurance to students, parents, teachers, and the local community," he said.

"I would like to thank the school and the community for their understanding and patience while the investigation continues."

Dr. Alastair Wells, Chair of the college's Board of Governors College said in a statement, "On behalf of everyone at Epsom College, I want to convey our utter shock and disbelief at this tragic news. Our immediate thoughts and condolences are with Emma's family, friends, and loved ones, and to the many pupils and colleagues whose lives she enriched throughout her distinguished career."

The statement added: "Emma was a wonderful teacher, but most of all she was a delightful person. In time we will commemorate Emma and her family, in the appropriate way, and in line with the wishes of her family. But for now, we ask that we are all given the time, space and respect we need to come to terms with this tragic loss."

Students and parents alike are devastated by the news.

"In her time as head teacher, [Pattison] turned the school around, and she did so many things that enriched the children's lives," one parent told the BBC.

"She was slight but very formidable, she knew all of the pupils by name. She was exactly what you would want from a head teacher."

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