Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Tributes paid to 'popular' family

Phoebe (left) and Nereya Case
Image caption A post-mortem examination on the bodies of the two girls will try to establish how they died

A family of four found dead in their Hampshire home were popular and well-known members of their community, residents have said.

Andrew and Vicky Case and daughters Phoebe, two, and Nereya, one, were found dead in Fordingbridge on Monday.

Mrs Case, 31, and the girls had been stabbed while Mr Case, 33, was found hanged, the ambulance service said.

Police are investigating a suggestion the family may have had financial problems, the BBC understands.

Two churches, St Mary's in Fordingbridge and St Aldhelm's in Sandleheath, have been opened to offer support to the community and to enable people to light candles.

Image caption A friend described Vicky Case as "one of those really nice people"

A heavy police cordon remains in place at the family home where the bodies were found in Provost Street, while forensic investigations continue.

The discovery of all four bodies was made by the children's grandmother, who raised the alarm.

Post-mortem examinations on the children were due to be carried out at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester on Tuesday afternoon, but the results have not yet been made public.

Tests carried out on Monday have revealed that Mr Case, 33, a delivery driver, died as a result of hanging, while his wife died from knife wounds.

Mrs Case ran St Aldhelm's children's nursery in nearby Sandleheath.

Joyce Hibberd, a neighbour of the girls' grandmother, said: "I just can't believe what the grandmother went through when she found them. It would be devastating."

Neighbour Jeremy Pentecost said he ran out of his house, which overlooks the property, when the bodies were discovered.

He said he heard Mrs Case's mother screaming after she came out of the property and saw her collapse on the floor.

The 27-year-old added: "They seemed a nice couple and I joked with him sometimes outside."

Another neighbour, Alayna Brooks, said the family had just returned from a week's holiday in Weymouth, Dorset.

She described the little girls as "gorgeous" and the couple as "loved up".

Detectives say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation.

Acting Supt Gary Cooper said: "Detectives are continuing to investigate the background and the circumstances that led to this tragic incident.

Image caption Tributes have been left outside the home on the edge of the New Forest

"The families of everyone involved are understandably extremely shocked and distressed by what has happened and have asked that they are left alone to try to come to terms with their loss."

Scenes of crime officers took away a Land Rover Freelander and a Volkswagen Golf on Monday evening.

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.

Police officers continue to guard the property and a triple cordon has been put in place around the cul-de-sac where the family lived.

A small set of floral tributes have been laid at the scene.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites