Murder Inquiry After Leeds Family Deaths

Police have launched a murder investigation after the bodies of two adults and two boys were found in a house in Pudsey.

Emergency services were called to a quiet cul-de-sac near Leeds, late yesterday afternoon when the grim discovery was made in an upstairs bedroom.

Detectives are thought to be working on the theory that the deaths were a case of murder/suicide. No one else is being sought.

West Yorkshire Police said the bedroom where the bodies were found was fire-damaged.

The bodies were 37-year-old Richard Smith, his 36-year-old wife Clair and their two sons Ben and Aaron, aged nine and one.

Part of Sheridan Way where the house is located was initially cordoned off amid fears that dangerous chemicals might be present.

Detective Superintendent Paul Taylor of the West Yorkshire Police homicide and major inquiry 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 inquiry team.''

Neighbours said the people who lived in the modern stone-built house were an ordinary family who had been there for only a few months.

One woman who laid flowers at the police cordon said her children went to school with one of the boys.

She said: ``It's terrible. From what I saw of them, they were very fun-loving, kind and caring - full of life.''

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: ``They were a nice family.''