Mother, two children and friend murdered during Killamarsh sleepover

Connie Gent was murdered alongside two of her friends and their mother during a horror sleepover that has left a small community in disbelief.

A grieving dad has begged “why” after his daughter was murdered with two friends and their mum while at a sleepover.

Connie Gent, 11, was discovered dead at the home of 11-year-old Lacey and 13-year-old John in Killamarsh, Derbys, on Monday (AEST).

Lacey and John’s mum, Terri Harris, 35, was also found murdered after police were called to a concern for safety.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Connie’s devastated dad Charlie has now paid tribute to his daughter, asking: “My Baby Girl whhhhyyy”.

He also urged parents to spend as much time with their kids “as possible” and said his “world” had been “taken away”.

“My little girl has gone I can’t even put into words or even how 2 feel or react rite now shouldn’t even be writing this,” Charlie wrote.

“Now have 2 live with the fact I was helpless 2 protect her as u always promised n she’s gone.

“Fly safe baby girl I love you with all my heart n always will. Gonna miss u like crazy”.

Connie was enjoying a sleepover with friend Lacey when the horror unfolded.

Lacey and John’s dad Jason Bennett today sobbed as he lay flowers for the youngsters at the scene.

He also posted heartbreaking videos of the siblings enjoying their time together.

One, which has been dedicated to Jason’s “mini me”, shows beaming John enjoying himself on a merry-go-round in a playground as Lacey pushes him.

“My mini me. My heart and soul of my life. You brought me laughter everyday. A classic you this one,” Jason wrote.

“I wish I could have been there and saved you to stop all the pain suffered and told you everything will be OK. But now I’ve suffered the worst thing any parent could go through.”

Jason also posted a video of Lacey laughing as she walked through woodland as he paid tribute to the “apple of my eye”.

“Watching you grow into a beautiful and caring young lady has made my life. There should have been many many more years watching my flower grow and grow but for now,” he wrote.

“One day we will meet. Only my kids can mend this broken heart. Xxx.”

His mum Debbie today paid tribute to her grandchildren and revealed “girly girl” Lacey was a West Ham fan who was into “pink and sparkles”.

She said John loved computers and supported Sheffield Wednesday.

“Lacey’s best friend was over for a sleep over and was taken too,” she wrote.

“Her parents are going to be devastated, just the same as us.

“They were just the most well mannered kids. Always please and thank you.

“If you ever bought them a present the first thing they’d do was go on Facebook and thank you. I don’t know how we are going to cope.”

Jason’s dad Trevor added: “I don’t know how he’s going to come through this. He’s going to need a lot of strength.”

Police confirmed a murder probe had been launched and said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the “isolated” incident.

“At 7.26am yesterday the force was called in relation to concerns for the safety of a man in Killamarsh,” Derbyshire Police Chief Constable Rachel Swann said in a statement.

“Four minutes later, when officers arrived at the house in Chandos Crescent, they found the bodies of 35-year-old Terri Harris, her two children, 11-year-old daughter Lacey Bennett and 13-year-old son John Paul Bennett, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, also 11, from Sheffield.

“The families of Terri, Lacey, John Paul and Connie have all been informed and my thoughts, along with all at Derbyshire Constabulary, are with them at this most tragic of times.

“This has been an understandably shocking event that has deeply affected the local community in Killamarsh, as well as Connie’s family and friends in Sheffield, and our thoughts are also with them.

“I would also like to state my thanks to those officers who arrived at the scene with such speed as well as colleagues from the East Midlands Ambulance Service who attended the incident. All acting with immense professionalism in such a difficult situation.

“While understandably worrying and upsetting this is believed to be an isolated incident in which those involved were known to one another and nobody else is being sought in connection with the deaths.

“The force did not have any prior contact with those involved.

“The man officers arrested at the scene, a 31-year-old from Killamarsh, remains in police custody on suspicion of the murders of Terri, Lacey, John Paul and Connie.

“A team of detectives have been working through the night to understand the circumstances that led to their deaths and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward.

“Of particular interest is anyone who was in the Chandos Crescent area between 9.30pm on Saturday evening and 7.30am the following day and who may have information that would be helpful to the investigation.”

— The Sun


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