Police to question crash victim over killing of woman and two daughters

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The Independent Online

Detectives were today due to interview the partner of a woman who was stabbed to death with her two young daughters on Christmas Eve.

West Midlands Police said officers were still waiting to question Spencer Smith, 29, a builder, on suspicion of murdering Lisa Higgins, 25, and her daughters, Demmy, three, and six-year-old Keighley.

Mr Smith was seriously injured in a car crash which led to a police officer discovering the attacks on the family at their home in Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, as he made a routine visit to inform Ms Higgins. He remains under police guard in the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford.

Detectives are expected to interview Mr Smith once his condition has sufficiently improved. A police spokesman said post-mortem examinations showed that all three victims died from stab wounds.

George and Jean Hough, the couple's next-door neighbours, said the children had visited them just hours before their deaths with a Christmas card they had made themselves and a bouquet of flowers. George Hough, a pensioner, who has lived in Alton Avenue with his wife Jean since 1946, said: "They were such a happy pair of kids and Lisa was a great mother to them.

Mr Hough, aged 87, said: "They came round at about midday with this card they'd made, which said, 'Merry Christmas to Jean and George, lots of love, Keighley and Demmy'.

"Whenever I walked past ..., they would always pop out and say hello." Mrs Hough, 82, said: "They were like my grandchildren. They were such beautiful girls."