A South African woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after her three disabled children were found dead at their London home, British police say.
The Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday that a 42-year-old woman was in custody after the bodies of a four-year-old girl and two three-year-old boys were found on Tuesday evening.
The parents were named in the media as Gary Clarence, a senior executive at banking group Investec, and his wife Tania Clarence, a graphic designer. They are both from South Africa.
They had four children, and the youngest three had “life-limiting” genetic disorders, according to a neighbour, who did not wish to be identified.
The Evening Standard newspaper said the children suffered from a disease called spinal muscular atrophy, and one of them was confined to a wheelchair.
“They are very nice people and very, very decent. She is such a lovely person – her life revolves around the children,” the neighbour said.
Media reports suggested that Gary Clarence was on holiday with his eldest daughter, aged seven, at the time but was flying back to Britain on Wednesday.
Investec, where he works as director of healthcare, said he was a “valued colleague” and their thoughts were with his family.
“We are doing all that we can to help Gary and his eldest child and ask that their privacy is respected,” it said.
Teddy bears and flowers were left on the driveway of the family’s large house in New Malden, south London, where officers were called at about 9:30pm on Tuesday.
The three children were declared dead at the scene.
Police said the 42-year-old woman, who was not named, was taken to hospital with minor injuries and discharged, before being arrested on suspicion of murder.
“Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident at this time,” police said.