Dead children's father talks of 'immense loss'

The father of three children found dead in their home today said the family is struggling to come to terms with the "immense and tragic" loss.

Eight-year-old twins Augustino and Gianluca Riggi and their five-year-old sister Cecilia were discovered on Wednesday at the modern townhouse in Slateford Road, Edinburgh, after reports of an explosion.



Police are waiting to speak to the children's mother, Theresa Riggi, 46, who is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after apparently falling from the second floor of the building.



The deaths are being treated as suspicious and post-mortem examinations will be carried out today.



The children's father Pasquale Riggi, who was divorcing his wife, released a statement through Lothian and Borders Police, saying: "Our family is struggling to come to terms with the immense and tragic loss of three beautiful children.



"Thanks to all who have offered such great comfort and support. We request that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time."



Police traced Shell worker Mr Riggi to the Aberdeen area after the discovery in Edinburgh, where Mrs Riggi had been living since the beginning of July.



A judge warned that the children, who were at the centre of a bitter custody battle, could be in danger just 24 hours before they were found dead.



Judge Lady Clark raised concerns about the welfare of the children after their mother failed to appear at a divorce hearing on Tuesday.



The couple were due in court today for a further hearing.



The family came from California and Colorado and Mr Riggi has worked for Shell since 1987.



He has been in Aberdeen for a number of years and in the country for 13 years.



Edinburgh City Council said it was contacted by lawyers on Wednesday regarding the recent court proceedings.



It was around the same time that the authority was told about the incident at Slateford Road.



Police hope the post-mortem examinations will determine how the children died and whether they should pursue a murder inquiry.



It was reported that the children were found stabbed to death in the flat before neighbours reported the explosion, but this has not been confirmed by police.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'