Missing Gloucestershire man and three children found dead

Ceri Fuller
Image caption Ceri Fuller was reported missing from the Forest of Dean on Thursday, police said

A man from Gloucestershire and his three children have been found dead in Shropshire.

Ceri Fuller, 35, from Milkwall, near Coleford, had gone missing with his son Sam, 12, and daughters Rebecca, eight, and Charlotte, seven.

The bodies were found in a wooded area at Pontesbury near Shrewsbury by a police officer just before 10:00 BST, West Mercia police said.

Police sealed off the area and forensic examinations were carried out.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said on Monday: "Officers searching for missing man Ceri Fuller and his three children, from the Forest of Dean, have been made aware of the discovery of four bodies in Pontesbury, Shropshire, shortly before 10am this morning.

'Delightful children'

"While the bodies have yet to be formally identified, Mr Fuller's family have been informed of the discovery and are being supported by police family liaison officers.

Media captionDet Ch Insp Neil Jamieson appealed for information

"The investigation into the deaths is being conducted by West Mercia Police."

West Mercia Police said a Home Office pathologist would be conducting post-mortem examinations to help establish the cause and time of death. The deputy coroner for Shropshire, Andrew Barkley, has been informed.

Jan Wagstaff, head teacher of St John's C of E primary school in Coleford, which the two youngest children attended, said: "Rebecca and Charlotte were absolutely delightful children and a pleasure to have in school.

'Sadly missed'

"Sam was also a pupil here before he moved on to Lakers. He was a lot of fun and always had a ready smile.

"They will all be very sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family."

Image caption The vehicle in which Mr Fuller had been travelling was found in woodland on Monday morning

Alison Elliott, head at Lakers School in Coleford said: "We are desperately sad to hear the family are having to face such a dreadful situation.

"Sam was a well-loved member of our extended family here at Lakers. Our thoughts are with the family at this very tragic time.

"We have arrangements in place to support students, staff, friends and family at this very difficult time."

Reverend Alan Wearmouth of the Mid-Wyedean Churches based in Coleford said there was a "huge sense of numbness" in the community and an "inability to believe that such a thing could have happened".

Gloucestershire Police had been appealing for information on the whereabouts the father and his three children, who left home last Thursday.

Ongoing investigation

The four were travelling in a Landrover Freelander. The vehicle had been spotted in the Shrewsbury/Welshpool area.

A statement from paper manufacturing firm Glatfelter, where Mr Fuller worked, paid tribute to him.

Image caption Mr Fuller, his wife and their three children lived in Milkwall in the Forest of Dean

"Everyone at Glatfelter CFBU is saddened by the news of the tragic and sudden death of Ceri Fuller and his children.

"The thoughts of all of the people here at Glatfelter Lydney are with Ceri's family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Glatfelter CFBU is continuing to assist police in any way it can with their ongoing investigation."

A neighbour of the family in Station Road, Janice Ayres, said she was "very, very sad".

"I have children of my own and I would just be devastated.

"It's so sad for three young children.

"It is dreadful really to think about it," she said.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites