Police hunting a missing father and his three children have discovered four dead bodies in a woodland beauty spot.
Ceri Fuller, 35, left his home in Milkwall, Gloucestershire, with Sam, 12, Becka, 10, and six-year-old Charlotte, known as ‘Charlie’, last Thursday.
The children did not attend school the next day and Mr Fuller also failed to turn up for work as a production supervisor at papermill Glatfelter in nearby Lyndey.
Officers from West Mercia police confirmed today that they had discovered the bodies of three children at Pontesbury Hill, near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, 75 miles from their home.
The alarm was raised when Mr Fuller’s red Land Rover Freelander was spotted parked nearby.
His body is believed to have been found at the bottom of a quarry nearby.
Mr Fuller, a molecular and cellular biology graduate, vanished with his children from the family’s Â£162,000 home, which he is believed to have shared with wife Ruth.
It was originally believed that the paper mill worker was taking his family for a trip to Barmouth or Harlech, north west Wales, where they had previously been on holiday.
His red Freelander, with the registration plate CK51 YUV, was spotted in the Shrewsbury and Welshpool areas.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said two rapid response vehicles, an ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at RAF Cosford attended the scene.
An ambulance service spokesman said: ‘Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save four people found at the scene, and all four were confirmed deceased.’
West Mercia Police confirmed the deaths.
In statement, the force said: ‘West Mercia Police are investigating the deaths of an adult and three children after the discovery of four bodies in the Pontesbury area of Shropshire this morning.
‘The bodies were found in a wooded area by a police officer shortly before 10am today.
‘The deputy coroner for Shropshire, Mr Andrew Barkley, has been informed and officers have sealed off the area. Forensic examinations of the area will take place in due course.
‘Next of kin have been informed but we are not naming the deceased at this time. Formal ID has not yet taken place.’
A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said: ‘Officers searching for missing man Ceri Fuller and his three children, from the Forest of Dean, have been made aware of the discovery of four bodies in Pontesbury, Shropshire, shortly before 10am this morning.
‘While the bodies have yet to be formally identified, Mr Fuller’s family have been informed of the discovery and are being supported by police Family Liaison Officers. The investigation into the deaths is being conducted by West Mercia Police.’
The Fuller family lived in a cream pebbledash semi-detached home in the village of Milkwall, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean.
Sam, 12, attended Lakers School in Coleford and the girls Becka, 10, and Charlie, six, went to the village primary school.
The family moved into the house in July 2011 and were burgled around five months ago, according to neighbours.
Other neighbours said they had never spoken to the family, despite living only a few doors away.
One resident said: ‘I seen them around, but never even said ‘hi’. They seemed alright though, from the look of them.’
Gloucestershire Police issued an urgent appeal for Mr Fuller to come forward after he failed to contact his family over the weekend.
Mr Fuller’sÂ disappearance was described as ‘completely out of character’ by officers – who confirmed that the family had no plans to go away.
Desperate family members also appealed for information.
Ron Tocknell, Ceri’s father-in-law, posted on his Facebook page: ‘If anyone who knows Ceri has any idea of his whereabouts, please contact Glos. police immediately.
‘We are all so worried.’
Mr FullerÂ grew up in the Forest of Dean and attended Whitecross School in Lydney before taking A Levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology & General Studies at Royal Forest of Dean College.
He then studied Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Huddersfield.
Mr Fuller has worked for global business Glatfelter for the last 10 years in a paper mill seven miles away from his home.
The company manufactures paper-based food and drink products. Two out of every three teabags used in the world is made by the company.