Man and woman in their 30s found dead in property in Somerset with two ‘distressed’ children
A husband and wife were killed after a long-running dispute with neighbours while their children were in the house, it was claimed last night.
The couple, named locally as Stephen and Jenny Chapple, were found at their property in the Somerset village of Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, on Sunday night.
Mr Chapple, 34, was said by locals to be an IT teacher while his wife, 33, worked in a garden centre. They were found with serious injuries and died at the scene.
Police confirmed two children were in the house at the time, with neighbours saying they were boys aged four and seven.
Two men, aged 34 and 67, have been arrested on suspicion of murder. They were still in custody last night. Avon and Somerset Police said the incident would be referred to the policing watchdog due to ‘prior police contact with those involved’.
One of their neighbours and his father have been arrested on suspicion of murder, PA understands.
A woman living nearby said: ‘We didn’t see much of (the suspect) really, but there had been rows in the past about parking.’
Officers were called to Dragon Rise (pictured) in Taunton, Somerset, at 9.45pm where the man and woman, both in their 30s, were found with serious injuries
Forensic officers are on the scene of the suspected double murder (pictured)
Due to prior police contact with those involved, a voluntary referral will be made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct
Neighbours living on the new build estate around Dragon Rise described the neighbourhood as quiet, and one neighbour described the victims as ‘very friendly’.
‘I knew them by sight but I didn’t know their names, my dog used to really like the lady.’
Another neighbour said he had not realised anything was wrong even when the air ambulance arrived, and had believed it had just been from the nearby military base.
‘We slept through it all – we only saw all of the police and the tape this morning,’ he said.
Others said they heard screams and later the police and emergency services arriving.
A police cordon is still in place at two properties on the street while officers carry out a forensic examination of the scene.
Due to prior police contact with those involved, a voluntary referral will be made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
A formal identification process and post-mortem examinations to determine the causes of death will take place in due course.
Detective Inspector Neil Meade, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘The thoughts of everyone in the force this morning are with the families of the two people who sadly died last night.
Pictured: Forensic officers on the scene in Dragon Rise in Taunton, Somerset
A police presence is still on the scene in Dragon Rise in Taunton, Somerset
A cordon is still in place at the scene of the suspected double murder
Two men, aged 34 and 67, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in custody for questioning. Pictured: Police at the scene today
‘Two young children were inside the property at the time of the incident and while thankfully they weren’t hurt, they are understandably distressed at what has happened.
‘They are being looked after and specially trained officers have been deployed to support the victim’s families in what is undoubtedly the most difficult of times.’
He added: ‘We will carry out a full and thorough investigation and we will do all we can to achieve justice for the victim’s families.
A police cordon is still in place at two properties on the street (pictured) while officers carry out a forensic examination of the scene
‘While this appears to be an isolated incident, there will be increased police activity in the area to provide the community with reassurance.
‘Incidents like this are very rare but when they do happen, we know they cause significant concern so we’d urge anyone with worries or questions to speak to an officer or contact their local neighbourhood policing team.
‘If anyone has information which would help our investigation, please phone 101 and give the call-handler the reference number 5221274497.’