A young mother killed her two children before committing suicide at their family home in an incident that has shocked a quiet Kenton cul-de-sac.
The 33-year-old woman was found dead with her two boys, aged five and seven months, at their Woodgrange Close home at 5.20pm on Thursday evening.
Neighbours say they understand the father of the children came home to discover the horrifying scene.
Jay Moises, 28, who lives on the road, said fellow neighbours heard screams on Thursday evening before police flooded the narrow residential street.
Mother-of-four Ms Moises said she often saw and chatted to the mother, who is believed to be of Sri Lankan descent.
She said: “She would always smile and chat to me but recently had been a bit more reserved and wasn’t so chatty. I would always see her with her kids – never with the husband.
“I saw she was pregnant earlier last year and more recently saw her pushing the pram along. Her five-year-old son was a happy child from what I could see – he would always be holding on to the pram.
“She was a pretty girl, and young. The feeling among the neighbours is one of shock – it was a scary thing to hear. We obviously don’t know what happened but perhaps she didn’t get the help she needed.”
The five-year-old boy is understood to have been a pupil at the nearby Mount Stewart Infant School, which said it would not yet be making a statement on the incident this afternoon.
Post mortems were being carried out this afternoon on the three family members at Northwick Park Mortuary.
Police have not yet released details of the deceased, but say their next of kin were informed as a murder inquiry was launched last night.
Investigating officers say they are treating the children’s deaths as murder but say the mother’s is not suspicious and they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.
Detectives are expected to release a formal cause of death and the identities of the victims in the coming days.
Vijay Rajh, 21, who lives on the street, said the family was quite private in the relatively close-knit neighbourhood.
He said: “It is a quiet street and some neighbours know each other, but I’m in and out all of the time and I barely ever saw them – they just seemed to stay in the house.”
Kenton ward councillor Reg Colwill visited the street this afternoon to offer support to the community and neighbours who he says would have been left “disturbed” by the incident.
The Conservative politician said: “It is a tragedy. It is a quiet road and a quiet ward – you don’t hear about things like this.
“I was gutted when I heard the news – especially when I heard there were children involved. It is something no-one wants to hear. There is no doubt many of the neighbours will have been left quite disturbed by what has happened.”