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

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