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Knife Recovered In Shropshire Murder Investigation

Police investigating the deaths of three young children and their father at a Shropshire beauty spot, today revealed they have recovered a knife from the scene.

A murder investigation was launched yesterday after the four bodies were discovered in a disused quarry at Pontesbury Hill, nine miles west of Shrewsbury.

Formal identification has yet to take place but it's believed the man is 35-year-old Ceri Fuller, his son Sam (12) and daughters Rebecca (8) and Charlotte (7).

The four went missing from their home in Gloucestershire last week.

Police have said that although the investigation is still in its early stages, they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, speaking at a press conference last night, said the incident appeared to be a "tragic family situation."

He said the old quarry and surrounding woodland at Poles Coppice on Pontesbury Hill will remain cordoned off today as officers continue a detailed search of the area.

"I can disclose that a weapon has been recovered from the scene.  Officers involved in the search found a knife in the vicinity of where the bodies were found.  It will now be forensically examined."

DCI Jamieson said post mortems to establish the cause of death will be conducted this afternoon by a Home Office pathologist and may not be concluded until tomorrow.

Ceri Fuller and the children were reported missing after leaving their home in the Forest of Dean either on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.  Gloucestershire Constabulary launched a missing persons inquiry and circulated their details.

They left in their red Land Rover Freelander estate, registration CK51 YUV which was located by police at the entrance to Poles Coppice, Pontesbury Hill just before 10am yesterday after it was reported by a member of the public.

The four bodies were found within a 30 or 40 yard area inside the disused quarry shortly after.

Police are appealing for information about possible sightings of the vehicle and its four occupants  on Thursday.

DCI Jamieson said: "We believe this vehicle left Gloucestershire at some point last Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning and we are anxious to establish its movements since then, especially in the Pontesbury area.

We believe it was in the Leominster area at around midday on Thursday before making its way up towards Welshpool later that day."

He said several people have already come forward with helpful information which will help police track the vehicle's movements.  "This is in response to our appeals and we are grateful for their assistance.  However, I am still urging people to call Shrewsbury police station on 101 or our other number, 0300 333 3000 with any details which could help the investigation."

While police work continues in Shropshire, a team of West Mercia detectives have travelled to Gloucestershire to make further enquiries, including speaking to family members.  "We are working very closely with our colleagues in Gloucestershire to try and to establish the full circumstances leading up to this tragedy," DCI Jamieson added. 

 

Issued: Tuesday, 17 July 2012

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