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Children in house during parents' suspected murder-suicide being cared for by relatives

Three under-eights may have witnessed scene at residence in Oldbury, West Midlands, where father allegedly beat wife to death before killing himself

Aine Fox
Tuesday 08 August 2017 09:19 BST
A house in Oldbury where a suspected murder-suicide was discovered on Saturday after cries of children including a baby were heard coming from a property, police said
A house in Oldbury where a suspected murder-suicide was discovered on Saturday after cries of children including a baby were heard coming from a property, police said (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Police discovered a suspected murder-suicide after a neighbour became concerned by cries of children including a baby coming from a house.

The body of a 26-year-old woman was found at a family home in the West Midlands.

She is thought to have been violently attacked and killed by her 30-year-old husband, named locally as Paul Lander, before he took his own life.

Police said a neighbour called officers after hearing the cries of three children, all aged under eight, at the address in Pel Crescent, Oldbury.

The woman had suffered fatal head injuries and her husband's body was discovered in another room.

West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Jim Munro said police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

He said: “This is a truly tragic incident: it's understood the woman was violently attacked before the offender took his own life.

“The timeline of exactly what happened is unclear but we believe the two people died during the morning.

“There were three children, including a small baby, present at the address when officers made the discovery, they are being looked after by loved ones and will receive specialist support.”

Meanwhile, shocked residents spoke of their horror at the news in what is usually a quiet suburban street.

Police and at least three ambulances rushed to the semi-detached house, home to what neighbours described as an Eastern European couple, on Saturday afternoon.

The property is thought to belong to a housing association.

One man, who declined to be named, said the dead couple's eldest daughter had raised the alarm, knocking on their immediate neighbour's door.

He said: “The eldest, their daughter, is about seven or eight - she knocked on the neighbour's door.

“There's a small baby and another child.

“The children were taken out.

“One of them, the middle child, was refusing to come out initially, as they wanted to stay inside with their mother.”

Another neighbour said: “It's such a shock, I can't believe it. Nothing usually happens here, it's really quiet.

“I just feel for the kids, you know, because they've lost their mum and their dad.”

Outside the house on Monday, two police sitting in an unmarked car were the only signs of what had taken place behind the property's white front door.

The curtains were drawn, while in the tidy back garden a trampoline and a child's ride-along car could be seen.

Press Association

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