Family's tribute to murdered Birmingham couple

 

The son and daughter of a couple murdered at their home begged for help in finding their parents' killers today, saying the light had been "switched out" in their lives and their hearts were "broken forever".

Michelle Kirwan, 39, wept inconsolably as she and brother Avtar Kolar, 32, described the heartbreak caused by the death of their parents.

Avtar Kolar, 62, and his wife Carole, 58, were found dead yesterday morning at their home in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham.

The couple were found at the semi-detached property on Friary Road by their son, a serving police officer, shortly after 8am.

At a press conference today, daughter Ms Kirwan said: "Yesterday the light was switched out in our lives and our hearts have been broken forever.

"My mum and dad were the sweetest, kindest people that I have ever met and would do anything for anyone.

"They were the beautiful parents of myself, Jason, Taz and Marie, and the precious nanna and grandad of eight grandchildren, who adored them with all their hearts."

The couple, who had been married for 40 years, had four children and eight grandchildren.

Mrs Kirwan, noticeably devastated, struggled to speak as she described how the family would meet at "Nanny's" every Friday night, where her mother played bingo and card games with the children.

"It was noisy and chaotic but we would never miss a week," she said.

She said her mother worked at her grandchildren's school at a before- and after-school club where she was known as "Nanny Cal".

"She was like the Pied Piper with the children and they adored her.

"They would follow her around everywhere and Thursdays was Nanny's special day, where she would bring in sweets for all the children as a reward for being her stars."

She said the family had received messages describing her mother as a "truly amazing woman", and "one in a million, such a happy and positive lady".

Breaking down, she said: "As a family we could not have been closer.

"We did everything together - holidays, Christmas, birthdays and weddings. We adored each other and loved each other so much.

"Whoever has done this has not taken just two lives, but a further 16. Our hearts are broken forever and our lives will never be the same."

Holding his sister's hand, Avtar Kolar - whose own son was born just a week ago - said the whole family was struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"Not only has whoever did this taken two lives, but they have taken away our mother, father, grandad, grandma, brother and sister," he said.

"The hardest thing anyone could ever do is to tell their children that they will never see Nanny and Granddad again. My baby is one week old and I just don't know where to start.

"We are all hurting so much inside because they were so special - not only to us, but to everybody who ever met them. They wouldn't hurt a fly and we just can't understand how this can happen."

He begged for help in finding his parents' killers, adding: "We are now reaching out to anybody out there who could please, please help.

"No matter how little or however much they can. Somebody out there knows who did this, so please I beg of you help us catch the person or people who has taken these two most special people away from us."

West Midlands Police have vowed to work "around the clock" to find the couple's killers, with 60 detectives involved in the case.

Detective Superintendent Richard Baker, who is leading the inquiry, said the incident had had a "devastating effect" on the whole family.

He said forensic examinations of the scene were continuing and forensic scientists and forensic scene examiners were likely to be there for a couple of days.

Mr Baker said detectives are following a number of lines of inquiry after receiving numerous phone calls in connection with the double murder.

He said the couple's bodies had been removed from the house, and post-mortem examinations are likely to start later today and expected to continue until tomorrow.

He said this would indicate a "definitive cause of death" and detectives would know whether any weapons had been used in the attack.

Mr Baker refused to be drawn on reports that the couple's son, who is employed by the force, works for a unit set up to tackle gangs and organised crime.

"We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this attack; however, this is a very complex investigation and we are continuing to keep an open mind.

"There is nothing at this stage to indicate that the fact that the couple's son is a serving police officer had anything to do with their deaths."

He added: "To reiterate, the last time the family spoke to the couple was at 7.15pm on Tuesday night, so I need to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual or out of the ordinary in the Friary Road area of Handsworth Wood after that time to contact us.

"I must again stress, any information could be vital."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories