'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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral