Bodies of a father and his three missing children discovered in isolated Shropshire woodland

 

The bodies of a missing father and his three children were discovered today in an isolated area of woodland.

Local reports said Ceri Fuller appeared to have died after falling from a cliff into a quarry. The children, Sam, 12, and daughters Becka, 10, and Charlotte, six, who is also known as Charlie, are believed to have suffered stab wounds although police would not confirm the nature of their injuries.

The discovery was made by an officer from West Merica Police at a beauty spot at Pontesbury Hill, near Shrewsbury in Shropshire following a sighting of Mr Fuller’s red Land Rover Freelander which was abandoned nearby.

The alarm was raised by the children’s mother. The four had been missing from the family home in the Forest of Dean since last Thursday.

Police were called after the children failed to turn up for school and Mr Fuller did not report for his job as a production supervisor at a local paper mill.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "While the bodies have yet to be formally identified, Mr Fuller's family have been informed of the discovery and are being supported by police family liaison officers.”

This afternoon officers from West Mercia Police, who are investigating what is now being treated as a potential triple murder inquiry, had sealed off the area whilst forensic teams examined the scene.

Two rapid response vehicles, an ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at RAF Cosford also attended the incident.

Neighbours of the family, who had recently moved to the cream pebbledash semi-detached home in the village of Milkwall, near Coleford, expressed their horror at news of the discovery describing the Fullers as a quiet and reserved family.

Janice Ayres, who lives next door to the Fullers said: "Very, very sad, I just cannot say any more … I am surprised. They kept themselves to themselves. It’s so sad for three young children.”

Police said the science graduate’s disappearance last week was “completely out of character”. His family had thought he may have taken the children on an impromptu holiday to North Wales.

Jan Wagstaff, headteacher of St John's Church of England Primary, said: "Rebecca and Charlotte were absolutely delightful children and a pleasure to have in school.

Alison Elliott, head of Lakers School, attended by Sam, said: "We are desperately sad to hear the family are having to face such a dreadful situation.

"Sam was a well loved member of our extended family here at Lakers. Our thoughts are with the family at this very tragic time.”

A statement from Mr Fuller’s employers, paper manufacturing firm Glatfelter, said there staff were saddened by his death.

Mr and Mrs Fuller married in August 2009.

Mrs Fuller’s father, Ron Tocknell, from Lydney, Gloucestershire, appealed for information when his son-in-law disappeared.

He wrote on his Facebook page: "If anyone who knows Ceri has any idea of his whereabouts, please contact Glos. police immediately. We are all so worried.”

Mr Fuller was educated at Whitecross School in Lydney before taking A-levels in physics, chemistry, biology and general studies at the Royal Forest of Dean College.

He then completed a BSc in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Huddersfield, graduating in 2001. He joined Lydney-based Glatfelter in August 2002.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all