Catlin Samuel (5) and her brother Aiden Samuel (3) were found drowned at their home on Sunday. Caitlin and Samuel’s parents were separated, and their father Perry Samuel, who was babysitting the pair, was the only person in the home at the time.
Perry Samuel has been arrested and has now been charged with murder.
The BBC (06 Nov 2006):
FATHER ARRESTED OVER CHILD DEATHS
Police have confirmed a 35-year-old man arrested on suspicion of the murder of two children in Denbighshire is their father.
The man has been named locally as Perry Samuel.
Caitlin Samuel, five, and her brother, Aidan Samuel, three, were found at a house in Bodelwyddan near Rhyl just before 2300 GMT on Sunday.
In a statement, the children’s family said: “We cannot express just how much we loved our two little angels.”
The brother and sister were found at a house in Coronation Close by two female police officers after a 999 call was made. Mr Samuel was alone in the house when they called.
The children were taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where they were pronounced dead less than an hour later. It is not yet known how they died.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Jolly said : “We are keeping a completely open mind about the cause of the deaths and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry.
“It would be completely wrong to speculate about the cause of death at this moment.”
He described the children’s family as “extremely traumatised”.
A statement issued from the family read: “Following last night’s tragic and incomprehensible incident, we are appealing directly to the media that they respect our wishes and that we are allowed the breathing space we so desperately need to come to terms with this terrible life-changing situation in private so we can mourn in peace and with dignity.”
The house has been cordoned off by police tape. Flowers and soft toys, including a Winnie the Pooh bear, had been left by well-wishers.
Both children were pupils at Ysgol y Faenol school in Bodelwyddan.
Head teacher Martin Edwards said: “Our whole school community has been deeply shocked and saddened at this tragic loss.
“The two children were bright, popular and happy pupils and will be very sadly missed by their classmates and the staff at the school. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.”
Neighbour John Bairstow, said there were a lot of children in the street who tended to play together.
“This is a family-oriented area. You have second generation people on this street, who grew up here and now have families of their own.
“It is terribly sad news, particularly as I’m sure this little boy and girl will have been well-known to the children and other families on this street.”
The results of the post mortem examinations were expected on Monday evening or Tuesday morning, police said.
The Times Online (07 Nov 2006):
FATHER IS QUESTIONED OVER DEATH OF ‘TWO LITTLE ANGELS’
By Russell Jenkins
THE father of two young children who were found drowned in the bath at their home in North Wales was being questioned by police last night on suspicion of murder.
Perry Samuel was in sole charge of his children Caitlin, 5 and her brother, Aiden, 3, when emergency services were called shortly before 11pm on Sunday.
Despite the efforts of medical staff the children, from the close-knit community of Bodelwyddan near the seaside resort of Rhyl, were declared dead at Glan Clywd Hospital.
Last night the children’s mother, Sarah Graham, and family members said that they were trying coming to terms with the “tragic and incomprehensible” incident.
Neighbours said yesterday that Mr Samuel, 35, was often absent from the family home, which was cordoned off by police tape yesterday as forensic officers completed their work.
It is understood that Mr Samuel was estranged from his wife and had been babysitting on Sunday evening.
Two children’s bicycles lay outside the front door, with two deckchairs and a drink can.
Wellwishers, some weeping, left flowers and soft toys.
One card read: “Two beautiful angels. Your beautiful smiles will be so sadly missed but will never be forgotten.”
The family said: “We cannot express just how much we loved our two little angels and how grief-stricken we are.
“Following last night’s tragic and incomprehensible incident, we are appealing for the breathing space we so desperately need to come to terms with this terrible life-changing situation in private so we can mourn in peace and dignity.”
Mark Frodsham, 34, a neighbour, said: “Everyone is very sad. They were normal, beautiful kids and the family are well known in the neighbourhood. They were gorgeous, both of them. It is awful.” Mr Frodsham said that the children’s father was “rarely around”.
He said: “Our school community has been deeply shocked and saddened at this tragic loss. The two children were bright, popular and happy pupils at Ysgol y Faenol and will be very sadly missed by their classmates and the staff at the school. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family.”
Doreen Jones, Bodelwyddan mayor and chairwoman of the school governors, said: “They were a very nice family. They were beautiful looking kids.
“Everyone is numb and shattered. This is not something you ever want in your community.”
The Rev Berw Hughes, the vicar of St Margaret’s Church in Bodelwyddan, said that the sense of community in the village meant that the tragedy would be felt even more keenly.
He said: “Something like this would be difficult wherever it happened, but it will hit this community very hard because it is the sort of place where people still know and talk to each other.
“We will do all we can to help. I will offer my help, if they would like it.”
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said that Caitlin and Aidan were well known in the area.
He said: “They used to come knocking on my door asking for sweets, they were very nice children.”
North Wales Police confirmed that a 35-year-old man being questioned was the children’s father.
Chief Superintendent Michele Williams said: “It is an extremely close-knit community. They are waking up to a shocking and tragic incident.”
Detective Superintendent John Chapman, who is leading the murder investigation, described the children’s family as “extremely traumatised”.