'I'm lost for words': mother mourns three children killed by father

Police have confirmed a knife was found in the vicinity of the children's bodies

The mother of the three children from Gloucestershire apparently killed by their father spoke of her devastation. Ruth Fuller, mother of Sam, 12, and his sisters Becka, aged eight, and seven-year-old Charlotte, released a short statement through Gloucestershire Police.

Mrs Fuller said: "I don't have the words to describe how I feel at the moment. All I would ask is that I be left alone to grieve for my family."

The bodies of the three children were discovered at a beauty spot near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It is believed they died from knife wounds. The body of their father Ceri Fuller, 35, was found nearby at the Poles Coppice on Pontesbury Hill. He is thought to have fallen from a cliff.

West Mercia Police have recovered a knife and one line of inquiry detectives are following is that Mr Fuller killed the children before taking his own life. The force launched a murder investigation but described the deaths as a "tragic family situation" and are not looking for anyone else.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, who is leading the investigation, said: "I can disclose that a weapon has been recovered from the scene. Officers involved in the search found a knife in the vicinity of where the bodies were discovered. It will now be forensically examined."

Police are appealing for information about possible sightings of family Land Rover Freelander and its four occupants on Thursday.

David Fuller – Mr Fuller's father and grandfather to the children – released a statement on behalf of his and his daughter-in-law's families through police. "The Fuller and Tocknell families are devastated by this tragedy," Mr Fuller said. "Ceri was a gentle, sensitive and intelligent man but also a very private one. He loved his children dearly and they were such a focal point of his life. His relationship with each one of them was one of gentleness, involvement and attentive nurturing.

"We cannot begin to imagine what was going through the mind of this gentle man to drive him to such tragic actions. We would ask all to respect our privacy at this time while we try to come to terms with this terrible loss."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
people
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot