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Woman and two children found dead

A woman is believed to have killed two of her children before taking her own life in north Wales.

Mother-of-five Melanie Stephens, 36, is thought to have suffocated Philip, five, and two-year-old Isaac and then hanged herself at their home in Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd.

Police forced their way into the property at around 8pm on Sunday after frantic relatives were unable to get in.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "Inside the property police discovered the bodies of an adult and two young children. At this early stage it is not possible to state how the occupants died. The coroner and next of kin have been informed."

A Home Office pathologist is conducting post-mortem examinations to establish the cause of deaths, although it is understood police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Ms Stephens had lived at the house in Chapel Street for about two years, having moved from the nearby town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "Obviously everybody in the village is shocked. But nobody knows yet what caused this tragedy.

"I didn't know her very well because she wasn't from the village and I don't think she had many family here.

"But you would see her in the street and she would always say hello. They were a very pleasant family and seemed very happy. It's a terribly sad thing."

Gwynedd councillor Thomas Griffith Ellis added: "The death of a mother and young children is a terrible thing but at Christmas it is even more shocking."


From Belfast Telegraph