A family of four died from gunshot wounds inside their home, post mortems have confirmed.
Robert Needham, 42, Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and their daughters Ava, four, and Lexi, two, were found dead on March 29.
Examinations carried out on Thursday and Friday gave a provisional cause of death as ‘injuries consistent with gunshot wounds’.
Robert Needham, 42, Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and their daughters Ava, four, and Lexi, two, were found dead on March 29
Examinations carried out on Thursday and Friday gave a provisional cause of death as ‘injuries consistent with gunshot wounds’
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Bill was also found dead shortly after 6pm at their home in Woodmancote near Chichester, West Sussex.
Police launched a murder probe but confirmed they were not hunting for anyone else in connection with the ‘isolated incident’.
The family had been living in the leafy village at the house owned by Robert’s mother Maureen, 77.
Two days before Kelly died, the mother of two posted a picture on Facebook of her and the girls taking their Staffie for a walk in a nearby field.
She captioned it ‘Our walk for the day’, adding two love hearts.
Sussex Police launched a murder probe and confirmed they were not hunting for anyone else in connection with the ‘isolated incident’
Hours after their deaths, Robert’s mother Maureen wrote on Facebook: ‘It was Robert, Kelly and my lovely grandchildren that all died upstairs.’
Kelly’s twin sister Emma Ambler says the loss has ‘left a hole in our hearts that will never be filled’.
Emma said: ‘Kelly was a wonderful and special person. She was kind, caring, funny and always smiling with an amazing love for life.
‘Kelly was a dedicated and loving mother and adored Rob and her two beautiful children.
‘She had many friends and was devoted to her friends and family. Kelly will be missed by so many people and has left a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.’
Robert’s family, who have been left ‘bewildered’ by the incident, added: ‘Robert was a man with a loving, caring young family.
‘He had a beautiful partner Kelly and daughters Ava and Lexi, who he cared for deeply and who cared for him.
‘He was a quiet and thoughtful son and brother as well, always there to help when he was needed. We are devastated and bewildered at this most difficult of times.’
‘Lovely grandchildren’ Ava and Lily (pictured) were found murdered in an upstairs room and their parents, named as Robert and Kelly, were also found dead
Former Military Police officer Daniel Silvester-Worrall, who lives across the road from the Needham home, believes he could be the last person to have seen Kelly alive.
He took his Labrador George out for a walk at around 5.30pm on Sunday and waved at the mother of two as she looked out of the front window.
By the time he returned an hour later, the usually tranquil Duffield Lane had turned into a crime scene.
The 44-year-old said: ‘When I was going down the lane, I actually recall seeing someone was in the window.
Robert Needham is pictured with his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons. Their bodies were found at home in Woodmancote, West Sussex, last Sunday
‘It was Kelly, shortly before the incident standing, in the left window downstairs so I acknowledged her and gave a little wave.
‘We were gone for a good hour and as we were approaching the lane, that’s when all the police call signs were scrambled and I was notified to put my dog on a leash.
‘I was potentially one of the last people to have seen her.’
An inquest into the deaths is set top open at 10am on Wednesday at the Coroners Court in Chichester.
The public hearing, heard by West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield, is expected to last between 10 to 15 minutes.
Anyone with information about the incident can report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Cotton.