Village residents shocked after family of four and dog found dead

A murder investigation launched after a family of four and their dog were found dead has shocked a quiet village.

The bodies of two adults and two children were discovered at a house in Woodmancote, near Chichester, West Sussex, on Monday evening.

Officers from Sussex Police attended the address in Duffield Lane at around 6.45pm on Monday evening after receiving a call raising concerns for the welfare of the residents.

Woodmancote incident
A police car at the entrance to Duffield Lane in Woodmancote, West Sussex (Andrew Matthews/PA)

When they arrived, they found four bodies – all believed to be members of the same family.

Police said they are currently treating it as a murder investigation but detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Speaking to the PA news agency, local resident Ian Richardson said: “I have never heard anything like that before, really.

“I think we consider ourselves a low crime area.”

Woodmancote incident
Police tape surrounds a property in Duffield Lane, Woodmancote, West Sussex, after a family of four and their dog were found dead (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Richardson said it is a close community, but he did not know the occupants of the house.

He added: “I have tried to put it into context and think it’s something that happens all over the place.”

Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman said: “This is believed to be an isolated incident contained to one property and in these early stages of the investigation we are not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.”

We have opened a murder investigation after the bodies of two adults, two children and a dog were discovered at a house in Woodmancote, #Chichester.

No one else is being sought in connection.

Contact us quoting Op Cotton if you have any informationhttps://t.co/qLBWjlLTWQpic.twitter.com/qcLJKLko4F

— Sussex Police #StayHomeSaveLives (@sussex_police) March 30, 2020

Locals were warned that they could expect to see a heightened police presence in the area.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Cotton.

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