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Prayers after sacked officer found dead with family

Prayers are to be said in church for the family of a police inspector who killed his wife and daughter in a frenzied attack at their home just days after he was sacked.

Reverend Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani, from Oakham Parish Church, in Oakham, said he will lead prayers for Tobias and Samantha Day and their children during the Sunday service.

Mr Day, known as Toby and once described by police chiefs as "never off duty", is thought to have killed his primary school teacher wife Samantha and youngest daughter Genevieve, and attacked Kimberley, 15 and Adam, 13, before taking his own life on Thursday at their home in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Rev Canon Francis-Dehqani said today he had known the family for seven years, since he was appointed at the church in 2004.

"They were a lovely family and regular worshippers at the church. Prayers will be said for the family and for those who died during our service tomorrow."

Police have launched a murder inquiry and results of post-mortem tests are expected later.

Rev Canon Francis-Dehqani said he was working with the family and police liaison officers on the funeral arrangements.

The attack in the semi-detached family home is believed to have been fuelled by Mr Day's dismissal last Thursday from Leicestershire Police for misusing force computers.

Today the force declined to comment on reports that Mr Day suspected his wife was having an affair and had used the police computer system to search for information.

They also refused to comment on whether he had worked on the case of Aram Aziz, who killed his wife and two young children before killing himself in February.

Joy Small, 24, was found dead in her Leicester home along with her three-year-old son Aubarr, and daughter Chanarra, two. Officers went to her flat after discovering the body of Aziz, 32, hanging in a country park.

Meanwhile police confirmed they were still awaiting the results of the post mortem tests on three bodies.

The two surviving children are in serious but stable conditions at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Mr Day was once tipped for the top and three years ago ran the London Marathon in memory of a colleague murdered in a domestic stabbing.

Neighbours and colleagues were left shocked after the attack by the "respected" man as police confirmed he was fired for "matters concerning honesty and integrity".

Nigel Keep, the owner of a local cafe, said he spoke to Mr Day last Saturday, and described the former inspector as "very depressed" after losing his job.

The Times quoted Mr Keep as saying: "His head was down when he spoke to me and it had been a messy sacking.

"I didn't ask the details but he said even his bosses were shocked at the way it happened."

He said Mr Day asked him to look out for possible employment opportunities, adding: "He said, 'I've got enough savings for a couple of months but after that I really need work'."

Residents on the Days' quiet residential street in Melton Mowbray were said to have heard screams coming from their home.

As officers said they were not looking for anyone else over the attacks, well-wishers laid flowers and balloons near the family home on Friday.

Neighbour Gavin Lucas, 24, said Mr Day was well known in the area.

He said: "I saw Toby out jogging and with his children. He was a good bloke, always said hello. I wouldn't have expected this from him."

According to reports, neighbour Elaine Newton said Mr Day "had not been his usual self" and "seemed very distant" since losing his job.

Police were first alerted to the attack at around 4.23pm on Thursday over reports the eldest daughter, Kimberley, had been injured.

She was taken to hospital and officers forced their way into the family's house after receiving a second 999 call an hour later. They found the four remaining family members, but only one was alive.

Ivan Stafford, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said Mr Day had been a "very capable and respected inspector".

"It's absolutely tragic what has happened," he said. "It's been a real shock to the country and to Melton.

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