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Costa gun attack UK couple died in each other's arms

By Kunal Dutta

Spanish police are investigating the deaths of a former British Olympic diver and his wife, who were found shot dead in their villa near Benidorm at the weekend. Police said the deaths were being treated as murder, but post-mortem examinations had yet to be carried out.

Peter and Jean Tarsey, both 77, died "in each other's arms" at their home in Xalo, near Benidorm. Multiple gunshots had been fired and the couple were allegedly shot with a small-calibre gun.

Mr Tarsey competed for Great Britain at the Melbourne Games in 1956 and for England at two Commonwealth Games.

Friends of the couple raised the alarm on Sunday after they failed to turn up for a lunch invitation. Their villa showed no signs of forced entry, although it was reported that a TV was missing and a computer was found in the swimming pool.

A spokeswoman for the Guardia Civil police force said yesterday: "At around 4.15pm [on Sunday], some friends of the couple went to their villa because they had not been seen for a few days. They found the door was open and there were no signs of a break-in.

"The couple, who had lived in Spain for 18 years, were found with gunshot wounds on a sofa. The Guardia Civil is awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations and investigations continue."

Xalo, a village of around 2,700 people, is located inland 25 miles north-west of the popular Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm. Residents said yesterday that they were "shocked" by the incident.

Brittany Jones added: "I can't believe someone's been shot in Xalo; it's the most remote place ever."

The mayor of Xalo, Joan Miquel Garces, told Spanish media that the friends who found the Tarseys used to go round for lunch every Sunday.

He added: "When they didn't show up, the friends got worried and called the police.

"It's a very strange feeling as nothing like this has ever happened here before. We all know each other, it's very strange."

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