Police are investigating the unexplained deaths of a man and woman in County Durham after post-mortem examinations drew a blank.

James McAndrew, 51, and Helen Swan, 36, were discovered in the living room of a terraced house in John Street, Blackhill, Consett, early on Monday.

They were found fully-clothed on a sofa as if they had fallen asleep while watching television.

Relatives reported that the two looked peaceful and that there was no sign of a struggle having taken place.

Toxicology tests, which could take several weeks, were being carried out, a Durham Police spokeswoman said.

She said: "Post-mortems carried out by a Home Office pathologist have proved inconclusive.

"We are now awaiting the results of toxicology tests which are likely to take several weeks.

"The deaths are still being treated as unexplained at this time."

Detectives have spoken to friends and relatives of Mr McAndrew, of Forster Street, Consett, and Ms Swan, of John Street, Blackhill, to try to find out what happened.

Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry said: "We are treating these deaths as unexplained as it is not immediately obvious how they happened. We are carrying out extensive inquiries to establish the circumstances leading up to the deaths of these two people."