Derbyshire deaths: Dad's tribute after his two children, their mother and friend 'on a sleepover' are killed

·3-min read

A "broken" father of two children who were found dead over the weekend has paid tribute to his "TikTok queen" and "beautiful boy".

Jason Bennett broke down while speaking about his children - John Paul Bennett, 13, and Lacey Bennett, 11 - as he laid flowers near the house in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, where police are investigating the deaths of four people.

"I'm broken, I just want to kiss my babies," he told Sky News. "I just want to kiss them and hold them. TikTok queen and my beautiful boy, they were beautiful. Kindest people you could ever meet."

Writing on Facebook, Mr Bennett added: "My beautiful boy John and beautiful daughter Lacey have been taken away from me.

"Their mum Terri also lost her life and Lacey's best friend was also taken away from this world."

The children were found at the house alongside their mother, named by police as 35-year-old Terri Harris, and a friend of one of the children, 11-year-old Connie Gent, from Sheffield.

Mr Bennett said he had been making a four-hour journey home when he was told of the deaths, adding that it had "absolutely broken my heart into a million pieces".

"I didn't protect my beautiful babies enough from the monsters and now they have been suddenly taken away from me."

In a later post in the early hours of Monday, he wrote: "Look after your children. They are the love of your life and without them, it's empty... Your life is insignificant when you lose the ones you love. Please come home so I can kiss and hug you."

A neighbour said she understood the third child who died had been at the house for a sleepover.

Derbyshire Constabulary were called to the home in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, at around 7.25am on Sunday following concerns about a man in the area.

A 31-year-old man from Killamarsh has been arrested and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Mr Bennett's parents Debbie and Trevor Bennett have also visited the scene of the incident.

Mrs Bennett said: "I can't understand why he had to take them all. Why take the kids? We are just heartbroken."

She said both children loved football - Lacey was a "proper" girl and John enjoyed his computers.

She added: "I don't know how he'll [Jason] come through this. He's going to need a lot of strength."

At a news conference on Monday afternoon, Chief Constable Rachel Swann of Derbyshire police said a team of detectives had been "working through the night" to understand what led to the deaths.

She added that police had had no previous contact with anyone involved in the Killamarsh incident.

Earlier, North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley said the community would be "shocked and worried" following the discovery of the four bodies.

The Tory MP described the incident as "terrible and hugely tragic", adding: "Killamarsh is such a lovely, close-knit and warm community and I know that many residents will be shocked and worried by the news.

"I've no doubt that the village will pull together at this difficult time."

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