'I don't have the words to describe how I feel': Mother of three
children who were 'stabbed to death by their father' tells of her
- Officers found the bodies of Sam Fuller, aged 12 and sisters Becka, eight, and Charlotte, seven, in a wooded area in Pontesbury Hill
- Father Ceri Fuller, 35, is believed to have died after falling from cliff nearby
Thursday Mr Fuller vanished with his children from the family's home in
Milkwall, Gloucestershire, that he shared with his wife Ruth
- Police believe deaths were the result of a 'tragic family situation'
- Grieving mother Ruth Fuller today spoke of her heartbreak
- Police have found a knife close to where the bodies were discovered
Luke Salkeld, Andy Dolan, James Tozer and Jill Reilly
08:40 EST, 16 July 2012
12:11 EST, 17 July 2012
The heartbroken mother of three children believed to have been stabbed to death by their father told of her devastation today.
Father Ceri Fuller, 35, is thought to have
killed son Sam, 12, and daughters Becka, eight, and Charlotte, seven,
before throwing himself 80ft to his death in a nearby disused quarry.The
children's mother Ruth Fuller today revealed her heartbreak, saying: 'I
don't have the words to describe how I feel at the moment.'All I would ask is that I be left alone to grieve for my family.'
All four bodies were found in countryside near Shrewsbury yesterday after Mr Fuller’s red Land
Rover was spotted parked in the area.Police believe he killed the children and himself on Thursday – before they were reported missing.
Officers at the scene today found a knife close to where the bodies were discovered.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson said: 'I can disclose that a weapon has been recovered from the scene.
involved in the search found a knife in the vicinity of where the
bodies were found. It will now be forensically examined.'A huge manhunt was launched for Mr
Fuller, a molecular and cellular biology graduate, after he vanished
from the family home in Milkwall, Gloucestershire, last week.
children failed to turn up to school on Friday, and Mr Fuller was absent
from his job as a production supervisor at papermill Glatfelter in
nearby Lyndey.The day before the tragedy, the children’s mother, Ruth, wrote about a ‘completely bonkers’ mid-life crisis on Facebook.
She said: ‘Whew, that’s my midlife crisis over with then – and only a few completely bonkers things done.’
The 34-year-old added: ‘Still, very
glad of the urge to reach out to people, loved that.’ The comment had
been ‘liked’ by Mr Fuller’s sister, Abigail.
Scroll down for video
Tragic: Charlie Fuller, seven, and her older
brother Sam, 12, playing together and Charlie, pictured again on the
right. Along with their sister Becka, eight, (not pictured) they were
reported missing last Thursday after disappearing with their father Ceri
Angelic: Seven-year-old Charlotte Fuller, known
as Charlie, pictured. She and her siblings left home with their father
Ceri last Thursday and didn't attend school the following day
Tragic: Charlie Fuller (pictured) was found dead at a beauty spot in Shrewsbury
Last night a family member said Mr Fuller had been in ‘an awful state’ last week but was too upset to give further details.
And neighbours said they saw Mrs Fuller, an artist, looking worried and anxious the day her husband went missing.
Today, Mr Fuller's devastated father David - grandfather to the children - said he 'loved' them 'dearly'.
said: 'The Fuller and Tocknell families are devastated by this tragedy.
Ceri was a gentle, sensitive and intelligent man but also a very
private one. He loved his children dearly and they were such a focal
point of his life.'His
relationship with each one of them was one of gentleness, involvement
and attentive nurturing. Sam, Rebecca and Charlie were such charming
individuals, brought up in an environment of love.'We cannot begin to imagine what was going through the mind of this gentle man to drive him to such tragic actions.
'We would ask all to respect our privacy at this time while we try to come to terms with this terrible loss.'
Speaking at a press conference,
Detective Chief Inspector Jamieson, said: 'The bodies were
discovered at around 10am in an old quarry within a wooded area at Poles
formal identification has yet to take place, it's believed the man is
35-year-old Ceri Fuller and the children, his son Sam, 12, and daughters
Rebecca, eight, and Charlotte, seven.'I
can confirm we are conducting a murder investigation and at this stage
we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.'It appears to be a tragic family situation.
Ruth Fuller, pictured left, dressed up as a
pixie shortly after her wedding ceremony to Ceri Fuller, right, dressed
as a Star Wars character in a picture posted on the internet by his wife
with the caption 'My Obi Wan'
'The four bodies were found within 30
or 40 yards of each other.
'We are anxious to trace the
movements of a red Land Rover Freelander estate, registration CK51 YUV,
which we believe was driven by Mr Fuller.
'This vehicle was reported being parked at the entrance to Poles Coppice about 300 yards from where the bodies were located.
'We believe it arrived at this point sometime since Thursday.
'We believe this vehicle left Gloucestershire at some point last Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning.
'A Home Office pathologist will be
conducting post mortems to help establish the cause and time of death.
These are likely to be carried out tomorrow or Wednesday.
'The deputy coroner for Shropshire, Mr Andrew Barkley has been informed and an inquest will open in due course.'
A molecular and cellular
biology graduate, Mr Fuller vanished with his children from the family's £162,000
home, which he is believed to have shared with wife and the mother of his three children Ruth, 34.
Grim: This picture shows the scene at the
clearing in Poles Coppice near Pontesbury in Shropshire where police
forensics put a tent over four blue body bags
It is believed Ceri Fuller threw himself off the edge of the quarry - falling 80ft to his death
neighbour said that he saw Mrs Fuller, who married her husband in 2009, anxiously pacing up and down the
road outside her home on the day her husband and children went missing.
Fuller's former landlord, who did not want to be named, said: 'He
wasn't an aggressive man at all - his wife always wore the trousers, and
they kept themselves to themselves.'
Officers from West Mercia police
guarded the taped off entrance to the wooded area and four forensic vans
parked in a small caravan park next to the entrance.
It was originally believed that the
paper mill worker was taking his family for a trip to Barmouth or
Harlech, north west Wales, where they had previously been on holiday.
Father: Ceri Fuller's body was found at a quarry
Fellow's mother Geraldine, 64, and stepfather Geoffrey Petheram who
live in nearby Blakeney, were too grief-stricken to comment on the
tragedy. Ruth's parents Anne and Ronald Tocknell were not at their home on a leafy street in Lydney, Gloucestershire.
A neighbour said he had heard the tragic news and suspected they had rushed to be at Ruth's side.
Midlands Ambulance Service said two rapid response vehicles, an
ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at
RAF Cosford attended the scene.
An ambulance service spokesman said:
'Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to
save four people found at the scene, and all four were confirmed
The Fuller family lived in a cream
pebble-dash semi-detached home in the village of Milkwall, near Coleford
in the Forest of Dean.
Shocked next-door neighbour Peter
Ayres, 52, said he saw Mrs Fuller looking worried and anxious after her
husband and children went missing.The service engineer said: 'The last time I saw the wife was on Thursday morning. She was pacing up and down the road.
'At first I thought she was one of the village drunks but then I recognised her. I thought she might be waiting for someone.'
'I'd never noticed any odd behaviour before. The family never caused any trouble.
Floral tributes were left at the family home in Milkwall , Gloucestershire, today
Several bunches of flowers were left outside the
family home with one reading: 'RIP Sam, Rebecca, Charlotte. Three
Angels. God Bless. Love Soraya, Aaron, Bethan xx'
'I just can't believe it. You don't ever get that sort of thing happening around here, it's so quiet.
'They were a really quiet family who kept themselves to themselves.'
Sam, 12, attended Lakers School in Coleford and the girls Becka, eight, and Charlie, seven, went to the village primary school.
The two schools that the three children attended also paid tribute.
Jan Wagstaff, head teacher of St John's Church of England Primary, said:
'Rebecca and Charlotte were absolutely delightful children and a
pleasure to have in school.
'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.'
Elliott, head of Lakers School, 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.'
'Always in our thoughts': Three teddy bears were
also left at the scene at Pontesbury Hill near Shrewsbury, Shropshire,
where the bodies of Ceri Fuller and his three children were found dead
Respect: A floral tribute to the children, with their names written in stars
The family moved into the house in July 2011 and were burgled around five months ago, according to neighbours.
Other neighbours said they had never spoken to the family, despite living only a few doors away.
One resident said: 'I seen them around, but never even said 'hi'. They seemed alright though, from the look of them.'
Gloucestershire Police issued an
urgent appeal for Mr Fuller to come forward after he failed to contact
his family over the weekend.
Mr Fuller's disappearance
was described as 'completely out of character' by officers - who
confirmed that the family had no plans to go away.
Desperate family members also appealed for information.
Ron Tocknell, Ceri's father-in-law,
posted on his Facebook page: 'If anyone who knows Ceri has any idea of
his whereabouts, please contact Glos. police immediately.
'We are all so worried.'
Discovery: The alarm was raised when Mr Fuller's red Land Rover
Freelander was spotted parked nearby. His body is believed to have been
found at the bottom of a quarry
Investigation: Officers from West Mercia Police
guarded the taped-off entrance to the wooded area and four forensic vans
parked in a small caravan park next to the entrance
Mr Fuller grew
up in the Forest of Dean and attended Whitecross School in Lydney
before taking A Levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology & General
Studies at Royal Forest of Dean College.
He then studied Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Huddersfield.
Mr Fuller has worked for global business Glatfelter for the last 10 years in a paper mill seven miles away from his home.
The company manufactures paper-based
food and drink products. Two out of every three teabags used in the
world is made by the company.Locals
described an 80ft ‘sheer drop’ into the former quarry which was
‘inadequately protected’ by waist-high wire fencing. It can be reached
by just one route, a hazardous path known as the ‘black route’.The
woods feature a picnic spot and are usually well-used by dog walkers
and hikers, but have been almost impassably boggy following recent heavy
rain.One local said: ‘He
must have known about the coppice or been here before. It’s not the
sort of place you can just stumble across.’ Last night a man living
close to the woods said he saw the Land Rover arrive last Thursday
afternoon.Raymond Woodhouse, 74, added: ‘I saw the driver get out and walk in to the coppice, but I didn’t see any children’.
He went to police with the registration number yesterday morning after noticing it had not moved from the small parking area.
Work: Mr Fuller has worked for global business Glatfelter for the last 10 years in a paper mill seven miles away from his home
At the entrance to the woods
yesterday, a single bouquet of flowers bore the message: ‘RIP Angels. We
are so sorry we didn’t hear your cries.’
Detective Inspector Neil Jamieson, of
West Mercia Police, said the deaths appeared to be the result of a
‘tragic family situation’.
He said officers were conducting a
murder investigation but confirmed they were not looking for anyone else
in connection with the deaths.
A spokesman added: ‘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
Mr Fuller’s former landlord, who did not want to be named, described him as a ‘quiet and reserved’ man.
‘They seemed such a nice family – perfect neighbours,’ he added.
‘He wasn’t an aggressive man at all – his wife always wore the trousers, and they kept themselves to themselves.’
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