Flat deaths mother Theresa Riggi charged with murder

Theresa Riggi with Cecilia and twins Luke and Austin Theresa Riggi is in hospital after falling from the balcony of the flat

An American woman whose two sons and daughter were found dead in Edinburgh has been charged with their murder.

Theresa Riggi, 46, is in hospital after falling from the balcony of the property where twins Austin and Luke, eight, and Cecilia, five, were found.

They were discovered on Wednesday afternoon after reports of a gas explosion at the Slateford Road flat.

Police in the city confirmed that a 46-year-old woman had been charged with murder.

California-born Mrs Riggi, who had moved to the Scottish capital from Aberdeenshire with her children in July, is reported to be in a serious but stable condition at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Lothian and Borders Police said post-mortem examinations have been carried out and a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.

The results have not been released, but it is understood that the children did not die as a result of the explosion or a small fire in the flat.

The children's father, Pasquale Riggi, also from the US, earlier told of the family's "immense and tragic loss".

In a short statement issued through the police, Mr Riggi, 46, said: "Our family is struggling to come to terms with the immense and tragic loss of three beautiful children.

Luke, Cecilia and Austin Riggi Luke, Cecilia and Austin were found dead in the property at Edinburgh's Slateford Road

"Thanks to all who have offered such great comfort and support.

"We request that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time."

Mrs Riggi, a violinist who also taught music to beginners, ran a video production company in Denver, Colorado, before moving to Europe.

Her husband, originally from Colorado, has worked for oil firm Shell since 1987 and has been in Aberdeenshire for a number of years.

The couple moved to the UK in 1997, living in Corton, near Lowestoft on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, and in Zevenhuizen in the Netherlands.

They were married in Mrs Riggi's hometown of Bakersfield, California, in September 1989, but the relationship had deteriorated in recent years.

The day before the children's deaths Mrs Riggi was due to appear in the court of session.

The judge Lady Clark issued an order for the family to be found and assessed by social workers.

However, a fax from the court to the council was not sent until the following day and it arrived minutes after the first 999 call.

A court official was also sent to find the family. He arrived too late to discover a police cordon around the flat.

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