A 31-year-old man has been named as the suspect who allegedly killed three young children and a mother.
Police are questioning a local man, believed to be Damien Bendel, over the deaths in Kilmarsh, Derbys.
Police were called to the house yesterday morning after reports of security concerns for those involved.
Terry Harris, 35, was murdered at their home along with 13-year-old Little John and 11-year-old Lacey.
Football junkie Lacey’s best friend, 11-year-old Connie Gent, was also killed at a Saturday night slumber party.
Today the hearts of all three children broke down and said: “We could not protect you.”
Jason Bennett, 30, laid flowers for his “Tik Tok queen” and “beautiful boy” after the horrific murders.
Mr Bennett, a Royal Mail employee, cried: “I didn’t protect my beautiful babies from the demons well enough and now they’ve suddenly turned away from me.”
Lacey’s best friend Connie was also killed along with her mother, Terri, who had stayed the night.
Connie’s father, 36-year-old Charlie Gent, said: “Whah my baby girl.
“I can’t even put into words how to feel or react right now. I have to live with the fact that I was helpless to protect him. . . And she’s gone.”
Jason also posted heartwarming videos of the siblings enjoying time together.
One, dedicated to Jason’s “Mini Me”, shows John enjoying a round of fun at a playground as Lacey pushes him.
Around 300 people, including many children, gathered at Kilmarsh to remember the victims.
Several people in turn lit candles around a checkpoint in the center of a park, a few hundred meters from where they were.
Others brought flowers and teddy bears.
And some in the square were crying when pastor David Taylor of Kilmarsh Church on the street led them in prayer.
Mr Taylor said: “It is very sad today but it is absolutely unbelievable that so many people have joined us tonight.
“What do you say in times like these? It’s too hard.”
Derbyshire Police confirmed that a murder investigation had been launched and said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the “isolated” incident.
He said the officials had no prior contact with the people involved.
Close families of the victims have now been apprised and specially trained officers are with them.
A statement said: “This is a shocking incident that has deeply affected the local community in Kilmarsh as well as Connie’s family and friends in Sheffield, and our thoughts are with them as well.
“While worrying and disturbing, this is believed to be an isolated incident in which the people involved were known to each other and no further investigation was being conducted in relation to the deaths.
“A team of detectives is working through the night to understand the circumstances that led to his death and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward.
“Any person residing in the Chandos Crescent area between 9.30 p.m. Saturday and 7.30 a.m. the following day is of particular interest and who may have information that may be helpful in the investigation.”
North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley described the deaths as “horrible”
And very sad”.
He said: “Our condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them.
“Kilmarsh is such a lovely, intimate and warm community and I know
That many residents will be shocked and worried by this news.”
Anyone with information has been asked to contact the police Online or citing references 302-190921 on 101.
How you can get help:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone close by.
- Contact the charity for support, including services like the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and supportline.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarize yourself with the silent solution, report abuse without talking on the phone, dial “55” instead.
- Keep some money with you at all times, including a pay phone or change in bus fares.
- If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to move to a less risky area of the home – for example, where there is a walkway and access to a telephone.
- Avoid kitchens and garages, where knives or other weapons are likely to be found. Avoid rooms where you may become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you may be locked in a closet or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, Supportline is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on 01708 765200 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The charity’s email support service is open on weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
woman provides a live chat service – Available daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
You can also call the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.