Father and his boys found dead
The mother of two children who were apparently killed by their father was being comforted by relatives and specialist police officers, as detectives try to piece together what happened.
The bodies of the two boys, aged 11 and three, were discovered in a flat in Wiltshire along with the body of their father, a 36-year-old man.
Last night, police released the identity of the man. He was Graham Anderson, and the man leading the inquiry into what happened appealed for sightings of him over the past few days.
“I am extremely keen for any sightings of Graham Anderson with the two children between Saturday, August 25 and Saturday, September 1,” he said.
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“He was a regular bus user and I now need to trace his movements, and those of the boys during the week leading up to the discovery of their bodies.”
The grim discovery of the man’s body was made by the landlord of the flat just after lunchtime on Saturday after she came round to show new prospective tenants the property, police revealed.
An ambulance was called and paramedics contacted police. Officers discovered the bodies of the two boys in a separate room of the flat in the garrison town of Tidworth, near Marlborough.
The boys’ bodies were taken to a hospital in Southampton for a special paediatric post-mortem examination, while the man’s body was taken for an examination in Bristol.
Police said they had broken the news to the children’s mother, who was left ‘obviously devastated’. DCI Ian Saunders, of Wiltshire police, said inquiries were continuing and he appealed for anyone who had information about the family, or who saw them last week, to get in touch. One of the key facts police want to establish is when the boys or their father were last seen, as it emerged the three could have been dead as long ago as last Thursday.
Following the discovery at Auchinleck House, Sidbury Heights, police closed off the scene and conducted door-to-door inquiries.
DCI Saunders said that while the deaths of the two boys were being treated as suspicious by police, they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
He described the case as ‘very tragic’. “Yesterday afternoon the flat was due to be examined by a landlord who was showing prospective tenants around,” he said. “The flat was set to become vacated, and as the landlady came to the property that is when she saw what she did.
“Police were then called and discovered the bodies of a 36-year-old man and two male children – aged 11 and three. At this stage we have not yet formally identified the deceased. But I can say that we are not looking at any third party involvement,” he said, adding that the priority was to support the boys’ mother, who was estranged from their father. She is understood to be from the Andover area of Hampshire, not far across the Wiltshire border.
“Clearly it’s a shocking thing to find out, obviously,” said DCI Saunders. “And whilst she is clearly distressed, she will be given the best possible support we can provide.”
Despite Tidworth’s strong connection to the military, the man was not connected to the armed forces. DCI Saunders said initial information revealed the last-known activity in the flat was on last Thursday morning.
“As the investigation progresses, we’ll begin to find out exactly what happened in this very tragic case,” he said.
But news of the tragedy has sent shockwaves through the town and particularly its Sidbury Heights estate – which is home to many families.
Neighbours have continued to leave flowers, soft toys and messages outside the building’s main entrance.
Supt Matt Pullen told the gathered crowd: “Obviously the deaths have caused shock in the local community. Our heartfelt sympathies go to the families of the deceased.
“Local police commanders are intimately involved in the inquiry and are directing the actions of the Tidworth neighbourhood policing team to ensure that we provide appropriate presence and reassurance at this difficult time.
“Community leaders have been contacted and briefed in order that they can provide additional reassurance.
“I would like to stress that no other persons are being sought at this stage in relation to this incident,” he said
“We are grateful for the information and support provided by the public to the investigation,” he said. He urged anyone with information to contact Wiltshire Police on 101.