Family die in 'murder-suicide' on Spain's Costa del Sol

media captionTom Burridge says neighbours reported hearing gun shots a few days ago

A family has been found dead following a suspected murder-suicide in Spain.

The mother and daughter were found in the bedroom of an apartment in Mijas, on the Costa Del Sol, and the husband's body was in another room, police said.

The women both held Irish passports; the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin told the BBC. Reports suggest the father was British.

The couple, in their 50s, and their adult daughter - who was understood to have had a disability - lived in Spain.

Earlier reports from the Press Association news agency (PA) quoted police as saying all three were British, but the Spanish authorities had been unable to confirm this to the BBC.

Police's "initial hypothesis" was that the deaths were a murder-suicide, PA reported.

The Irish department of Foreign Affairs said it was liaising with Spanish police and was also trying to contact the dead women's relatives.

The UK Foreign Office said it was also aware of the deaths, was liaising closely with the local police and was "ready to provide consular assistance".

Spain's Guardia Civil said the house was rented and the landlord had raised the alarm.

"The latest information we have is that the owner of the house had not heard from the family for a few days and had not been paid," a police spokeswoman said.

'Popular resort'

"He went to the house [on Wednesday] and when there was no reply at the door, he went inside. Inside he saw the man dead on the sofa and immediately called the Guardia Civil.

"When officers inspected the house, they found the wife and the daughter dead in a bedroom."

Police found the bodies of the two women covered with a blanket, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

An official with Spain's Interior Ministry said the family had lived for a long time in Mijas, which is a popular resort, inland from the Andalusian coast.

Reports quoting neighbours suggest the man was British and that they had heard three shots in the area several days ago.

The bodies have been removed and the building is cordoned off.

The identities of the dead will be released after post-mortem examinations have been carried out.