Four found stabbed to death in Northampton

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The Independent Online

A quadruple murder investigation has been launched after four members of the same family were found dead with multiple stab wounds at their home in a quiet suburb of Northampton.

Two adults, a teenager and a child were found by police at the address in Pioneer Close, Wootton, at 6pm on Sunday evening.

The parents were named locally as Jifeng Ding, 46, and 47-year-old Helen Chui, who were found downstairs in the property. Their children, Xing, 18, and 11-year-old Alice, were found dead upstairs. All four are of Chinese origin.

Both children are understood to attend schools in the town. Alice was a year 7 pupil at Caroline Chisholm School, while her sister, who was known as Nancy, was said by locals to be a sixth-former at Northampton High School.

Mr Ding, known as Jeff, was a senior lecturer in the Division of Chemical and Environmental Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. His wife is understood to have been a teacher at the school that her youngest daughter attended, where she is believed to have taught Mandarin.

A spokesperson for Northampton Police said: "There was violence inflicted on the four people and they had suffered from stab wounds." Post-mortem examinations have not yet been carried out, but Detective Superintendent Glyn Timmins said: "What we can say is that the family has died as a result of violence inflicted upon them, and the likelihood is that this will be a homicide enquiry.

"We have opened a major incident room and there are more than 30 officers involved in the detection of these matters," he said.

A police statement added: "At this moment, the motive behind the deaths does not appear to be due to burglary or robbery.

"Local officers are conducting house-to-house inquiries and are liaising with residents and local people to offer reassurance and advice over any safety concerns.

"We do not believe there is any risk to the wider public."

Police said that because there was no indication of a break-in at the address, it "would be fair to say we are looking for someone who knew the family".

The area around the home had been sealed off yesterday afternoon while forensics officers searched the house and road for clues.

Police were called to the property on Sunday evening after concerned neighbours spotted the curtains had not been drawn.

Officers are keen to track down a Fiat 500 car driven by Nancy, which is understood to be undergoing repairs in an unknown garage in Northampton.

Schoolfriend Jennifer Cahill said: "Xing [Nancy] was always bubbly, and you never saw her without a smile on her face."