Police were last night investigating the possibility that a doctor stabbed his wife to death and then killed himself and his son, two, by jumping with him into a river.
Dr Jayaprakash Rao Chiti and his son were found in the river near the Orwell bridge in Suffolk after police found his car abandoned near by.
When officers went to his home in Rushmere St Andrew, near Ipswich, they found that his wife, Anupama Damera, a breast cancer specialist, had died from stab wounds.
Their son, 11, was found unharmed in the house and was being cared for by relatives last night. It is thought that he may have been asleep in his bedroom, unaware that his mother had been killed.
The father and son were found in the river Orwell at about 4am yesterday after police received a report of an abandoned vehicle on the bridge, a notorious suicide spot 150ft above the water.
Neighbours said the family had moved to the area in August from Nottingham. Mr Chiti and his wife both worked for the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.
One neighbour said Ms Damera was a consultant at the hospital. He added: "They were a very nice couple. They were both medical people. He was a doctor and she was a consultant."
Another neighbour, Peter Hilling, 55, said that the couple were pleasant people who had sent him a Christmas card. He said: "We did see their older son come out a couple of months ago with the younger boy on a little bicycle with stabilisers. It looked like he was showing off his little brother."
Post-mortem examinations on the three bodies were carried out by a Home Office pathologist at Ipswich Hospital.
More than 20 people have committed suicide by jumping from the Orwell bridge since it opened 22 years ago.