Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Two children among four found dead in Hampshire house

Scene of incident
Image caption Police have cordoned off the scene while investigations continue

Four people, including girls aged one and two, have been found dead at a house in Hampshire.

The girls and a woman had been stabbed, while a man was found hanged on the stairway, the ambulance service said.

Neighbour Alayna Brooks said she had heard the children's grandmother scream at the property in Provost Street, Fordingbridge.

Ms Brooks said she had run into the house and found the family dead.

She said the grandmother usually picked up her grandchildren on a Monday, which had led her to raise the alarm.

The police were then called at 1120 BST.

The bodies were removed from the property on Monday evening and taken to the Royal County Hospital in Winchester, where post-mortem examinations are due to take place.

A full search and forensic examination of the property is continuing.

Ms Brooks said she was one of the first on the scene and described the family as "gorgeous" and that "everyone loved them".

She said the man was a driver at a food delivery company.

"I loved them. As neighbours, we knew each other really, really well," she said.

"I am appalled, upset."

She described the man and woman as "so loved up" and said she was not aware the family had any problems, such as financial worries.

Image caption Neighbour Alayna Brooks said she was one of the first on the scene

She added they had recently returned from a week-long trip to Weymouth in Dorset.

The Reverend Tim Daykin, who was vicar of Fordingbridge until 2005, knew the mother and eldest daughter.

Mr Daykin, who works for the BBC, said he only saw them two weeks ago and that the eldest daughter had recently attended his granddaughter's birthday party.

"The whole community will be shocked and totally saddened.

"They're a family that are very well known in the local community, they're certainly the sort of people who've contributed to the local community and have earned the respect and the affection of many, many people, particularly younger members in the community.

"Because I know the family, I feel personally deeply saddened, shocked and just numb."

Adam Crew, from the Ship Inn pub, said: "I've had people coming in talking about it but no-one knows much details about it yet.

"Fordingbridge is just a quiet rural town so this is a big shock for everyone to hear that bodies have been found."

Image caption Post-mortem examinations are due to take place on Monday evening and Tuesday

Acting Supt Gary Cooper, of Hampshire Police, would not confirm that it was the children's grandmother who found the bodies.

But he said: "We believe it was a relative who came to the address this morning.

"On entering the address, they found four people dead."

When asked if they had suffered a violent death, he said: "It is a very unusual occurrence but something we are investigating with scenes of crime officers and the major crime branch."

The house where the bodies were found is set back from a row of cottages next to a stream on the edge of the New Forest.

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