Leeds & West Yorkshire

Murder inquiry after bodies found in Pudsey house

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Media captionBBC's Ed Thomas: 'Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with these deaths'

A murder investigation has started after the discovery of the bodies of a couple and their two young sons at a house in Leeds.

The bodies were found in a fire-damaged bedroom at a detached house in Sheridan Way, Pudsey, on Sunday evening.

Richard Smith, 37, and Clair Smith, 36, were found along with Ben Smith, nine, and one-year-old Aron Smith.

It is understood that West Yorkshire Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, from West Yorkshire's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: "Initially, we had concerns regarding the release of harmful chemicals or gases.

"Following testing, we no longer have any concerns with regards to those working at the scene and we will continue our investigations today.

"Inquiries are at an early stage and I would ask anyone with information about the incident to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team."

'Beautiful boys'

Post-mortem examinations are due to be carried out later.

Dean Turnbull, a friend of the Smith family who had known them for about 15 years, said he was "in shock" over their deaths.

He said the Smiths were "a lovely family with lovely kids".

Image caption Friends of the family brought floral tributes to the scene of the tragedy

Mr Turnbull's wife, Sara, was in tears as she left flowers at the police cordon.

The message on her bouquet said: "You were such a beautiful family. All our love to you. We can't believe you are all gone."

Mr Smith's cousin, Gary Tempest, said: "It is so unbelievable this has happened.

"They were the perfect family."

Family friend Sarah Wilson was in tears as she laid flowers.

She said she once held Aron in her arms as her sister was a neighbour, and added: "Such beautiful little boys. Both of them."

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