My heart is in a million pieces, says father whose two children are among four found dead

·3 min read
Jason Bennett with his son, John, and daughter, Lacey. The children were among four people found dead at a house in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, on Sunday
Jason Bennett with his son, John, and daughter, Lacey. The children were among four people found dead at a house in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, on Sunday

The father of two children killed in their home has said his “heart is in a million pieces” after police launched a murder investigation into four deaths.

Jason Bennett on Monday laid flowers for his son, John Paul, 13, and daughter, Lacey, 11, who were found dead alongside their mother, Terri Harris, 35, in the family home.

Derbyshire Police also found the body of 11-year-old Connie Dent, a close friend of Lacey’s who was at the family home for a sleepover.

Officers were called to a house on Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh, 10 miles south of Sheffield, at around 7.25am on Sunday in relation to concerns for the safety of a man.

A murder inquiry has been launched and a 31-year-old man from Killamarsh is in custody.

'Life will never be the same'

In an emotional Facebook post, the children’s father praised his daughter as the “apple of my eye” who was growing into a “beautiful and caring young lady”, and described his son as the “heart and soul of my life”.

“I didn't protect my beautiful babies enough from the monsters and now they have been suddenly taken away from me,” Mr Bennett wrote.

“I'm writing this as I'm lost and broken on a 4 hour drive back home having just received heartbreaking news that my beautiful boy John and beautiful daughter Lacey have been taken away from me.

Mr Bennett lays flowers at the scene
Mr Bennett lays flowers at the scene

“Their mum Terri also lost her life and Lacey's best friend was also taken away from the world.

“Life will never be the same. I love you both more than anything.

“Please look after each other. Gone too soon with so much to live for.

“I wish I could hold you and kiss you and tell you how much I love you.

“Thank you for making my world. All my love dad. Xxx”

Debbie and Trevor Bennett, Lacey and John Paul’s grandparents, described them as the “most polite kids you’ll ever meet”.

“Lacey was a pink girl, very sparkly. John was into his computers,” they said. “They were the most well-mannered kids you would want to meet. We are just heartbroken.”

'Worrying time for the community'

Rachel Swann, the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police, on Monday confirmed that the force did not have any prior contact with the family and made a public appeal to anyone who was in the Chandos Crescent area between 9.30pm on Saturday evening and 7.30am on Sunday.

“This has been an understandably shocking event that has deeply affected the local community in Killamarsh, as well as Connie’s family and friends in Sheffield, and our thoughts are also with them,” Ms Swann added.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, who is leading the investigation, said on Sunday evening: “We would really like to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the early hours of this morning, or has any information which they think could help with our inquiries.

“No matter how small you think that information may be, please do get in touch with us.

“It is understandably a worrying time for the community, and we would like to thank them for their patience and understanding at this time.”