The young children of a couple who were killed inside their home on Sunday night were asleep upstairs as the alleged murder occurred, police have revealed.
Jennifer, 33, and Stephen Chapple, 36, were found suffering serious wounds at their property in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton in the UK, after neighbours heard screaming, local publications reported.
Despite efforts to save the pair, they were pronounced dead at the scene.
Avon and Somerset Police said emergency services who rushed to the home found the couple’s kids, aged 5 and 6, sleeping upstairs.
They are now being cared for by family members, officers said in a press release confirming the couple’s names.
A post-mortem examination has confirmed Ms Chapple died from “multiple stab wounds” but her husband’s cause of death has yet to be confirmed, police said.
Shocked locals are now speculating as to what prompted the attack, with some telling the Manchester Evening News the couple's deaths occurred amid a long feud over parking with neighbours.
Police have confirmed two men, aged 34 and 67, were arrested on Sunday for suspicion of murder but the latter has since been released under investigation.
The younger man remains in custody, police said. No charges have been filed.
“What happened to Stephen and Jennifer is utterly heart-breaking and I can’t begin to imagine the impact their deaths will have on their two children,” Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Neil Meade said.
“I appreciate there is significant interest in what happened and I’d ask people not to speculate and to think about the impact it may have on the families.”
Locals stunned by alleged murder
An anonymous resident who lives near the couple told the Manchester Evening News about 30 emergency service vehicles and a helicopter swarmed the area after the alleged murder.
“We heard some screaming and then within a short space of time there were loads of police and ambulance people here,” the local told the publication.
“This is normally a fairly quiet, little road. But the police have said they had been in contact with those involved before, so there must have been a big problem in the background.”
Ms Chapple worked in a garden centre and her husband was head of IT at West Somerset Community College, The Mirror reports.
Residents have remembered the pair as “very friendly”.
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