'Abducted' British children found dead in Turkey

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The Independent Online

Two children allegedly abducted by their German mother from the custody of their British father have been found dead in Turkey.

Yaanis Mellersh, eight, and his sister Mira, six, were discovered in the seaside town of Soke on Saturday along with their mother, Elke Mellersh, 45. It is understood that Justin Mellersh, 46, from Lyndhurst in Hampshire, had been granted custody of the children, who were reported missing in February last year.

A Facebook page dedicated to trying to find the youngsters said: "On November 18th 2011, all three were found dead in Turkey. Elke had committed suicide and taken the kids with her. This had been our greatest fear." Another post added: "We do not blame the mother for this tragedy, it's clear that she suffered a debilitating mental illness with paranoid delusions. Rather we mourn that we were not able to ease her inner pain and confusion, and so were unable to prevent this sad, sad end."

The farmhouse's windows had been taped up and a note left on the front door stating: "Caution: Toxic."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We were made aware on November 19 of the deaths of two British nationals in Turkey. The authorities in Turkey are investigating." PA