Woman and her two children found dead at home
Monday 20 December 2010
A woman is believed to have killed two of her children before taking her own life.
Mother-of-five Melanie Stephens, 36, is thought to have suffocated Philip, five, and two-year-old Isaac and then hanged herself at their home in north Wales.
Police forced their way into the property in Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd, at around 8pm last night after frantic relatives were unable to get in.
A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "Inside the property police discovered the bodies of an adult and two young children. At this early stage it is not possible to state how the occupants died.
"The coroner and next of kin have been informed."
A Home Office pathologist is conducting post-mortem examinations to establish the cause of deaths, although police say they are not treating them as suspicious.
Ms Stephens had lived at the house in Chapel Street for about two years, having moved from the nearby town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Philip, known as Pip, attended primary school at Ysgol Edmwnd Prys.
Her three older children are thought to live with their father.
Residents in the village, which has about 700 residents, said the family seemed "happy and pleasant".
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "Obviously everybody in the village is shocked. But nobody knows yet what caused this tragedy.
"I didn't know her very well because she wasn't from the village and I don't think she had many family here.
"But you would see her in the street and she would always say hello. They were a very pleasant family and seemed very happy. It's a terribly sad thing."
Gwynedd councillor Thomas Griffith Ellis said: "The death of a mother and young children is a terrible thing but at Christmas it is even more shocking.
"I didn't know the woman but she lived on the main street next to the chapel, so I would see her coming and going to the shops.
"She always said hello as she passed but never stopped to chat.
"I don't know what has happened, there's been no suggestion why such a terrible thing has happened to a family."
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
The ten coldest places on Earth
Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
Uruguay becomes first country to legalise marijuana trade
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela memorial: Cheers, jeers and a masterclass from Barack Obama that stole the show
- < Previous
- Next >