New twist in children's hotel death tragedy

The investigation into the deaths of two children in a Spanish hotel room took a dramatic twist today when it was disclosed they were the son and daughter of an alleged paedophile.





Rebecca Smith, five, and her brother Daniel, aged 11 months, were found yesterday in the resort of Lloret de Mar in Spain's Costa Brava.



Their mother Lianne, 43, was arrested on suspicion of murder by Spanish police while their father Martin Smith appeared before magistrates in Carlisle today accused of child sex offences.



Smith, 45, originally from North Shields, had been one of Britain's most wanted men up until his arrest by Spanish police earlier this month.



His wife and Rebecca had been reported missing from the Staffordshire area since December 2007.



Smith, who was extradited yesterday from Spain, faced 13 charges today of child sex offences said to have been committed in the Cumbria area between 1995 and 2005.



He was remanded in custody to reappear at Carlisle Crown Court on June 7.



A Cumbria Police spokeswoman said: "During the court hearing it was disclosed that Spanish police have informed Cumbria Constabulary that Martin Smith's wife, 43-year-old Lianne Smith, has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of his two children Rebecca, five, and Daniel, 11 months, in Spain.



"Lianne and Rebecca had been missing from the Staffordshire area since December 2007."



Martin Smith had been put on a list of most wanted suspects thought to be hiding out in Spain by crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers.



He allegedly jumped bail in 2008 while facing charges of rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.



His wife was detained yesterday - the day of his extradition - after the children's bodies were found in Room 101 in the Hotel Miramar.



Sources confirmed he was told about the deaths of the children last night.



It was reported that she had been worried the Spanish authorities would take her children away.



Mrs Smith reportedly phoned reception shortly before 2pm and emergency services were called but efforts to save the youngsters failed.



Sky News reported that it had learned that a sign had been put on the door of her hotel room shortly before the alarm was raised which read: "Do not disturb, my kids are ill."



Sources close to the investigation told El Mundo newspaper that police believed the youngsters were suffocated because their bodies showed no external signs of injury.



Some reports said a plastic bag had been used to suffocate the children.



The results of post-mortem examinations are expected today or tomorrow.



After her arrest Mrs Smith was taken to her hotel room by police and an investigating judge to help them reconstruct events leading up to the children's deaths, El Mundo reported.



She was then transferred to a police station at Blanes, near Lloret, for questioning.



Spanish police said there had been no blood at the scene of the children's death or any signs of violence.



A bouquet of flowers had been laid outside the Hotel Miramar with a note attached saying: "RIP little ones. God has gained two angels xxx."



Two pink teddy bears had been placed alongside the flowers.



Guests at the seafront hotel described their shock at what had happened.



Andres Sonajalg, 49, from Tallinn, Estonia, said he had seen the children's mother at breakfast but that nothing about her seemed out of the ordinary.



He said: "I went out in the morning and when I came back the hotel was surrounded by police and ambulance teams.



"It was terrible. My wife and I were really sorry we couldn't do anything to help her and the kids but we didn't know anything was wrong."



His wife, Siiri Sonajalg, 47, said: "It was very shocking. There were so many police here and we were wondering what was happening.



"The hotel and police didn't tell us anything.



"I didn't sleep very well last night because I was just wondering what the mother was feeling when she woke up that morning.



"I feel very sad. I keep thinking about what happened."

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution