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Mother and daughters were strangled

A mother and her twin daughters died from strangulation before their father was found hanged near a reservoir, post-mortem examinations have found.

Twins Niya and Neha Rethishkumar, 13, were found dead at a house in Grove Road in Chadwell Heath, east London, on Tuesday afternoon, with their mother Shighi Kotuvala, a 37-year-old social worker.

The girls' father, Pullarkattil Rethish Kumar, 44, was found hanged near a reservoir in Forest Road, Walthamstow, on Wednesday morning.

Post-mortem examinations at East Ham mortuary yesterday found that the females - who police had said were found with no visible signs of injuries - were strangled to death.

The post-mortem on Mr Kumar confirmed death by hanging.

Officers first went to the property on Monday evening after concerns were raised about the welfare of those living there, but they did not enter because there was no response or any sign of disturbance.

Police finally forced their way in at 1.10pm on Tuesday, when they found the bodies of Ms Kotuvala and her two children.

The matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Met's directorate of professional standards is reviewing the police response.

Scotland Yard said inquiries continue to trace any next of kin.

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