Page last updated at 19:57 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 20:57 UK

Tributes to children found dead

The scene where the bodies of Brian, Amy and Owen Philcox were found

Tributes have been paid to a brother and sister from Cheshire who were found dead with their father in a car at a Welsh beauty spot.

Brian Philcox, 52, and his children Owen, aged three, and Amy, seven, from the Windmill Hill area of Runcorn, were found in the Conwy Valley on Sunday.

Police have confirmed all three died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to inhaling car exhaust fumes.

Neighbours of family have described the children as "lovely kids".

Police are treating the deaths of the children as suspicious but are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Four teddy bears along with bouquets of flowers were tied to the railings outside Mr Philcox's single-storey terrace home on Monday.

I'm just heartbroken. Wee Amy played with my granddaughter

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at the deaths.

Nine-year-old Emma McGhee, a friend of Amy's, said: "She was always happy and I had lots of fun with her.

"She was a bit messy, she used to always mess about in my cupboard playing with my stuff. I used to get a bit mad at her, but overall she was a good friend basically."

One woman, who did not want to be named, said: "Their mother is from a very nice family and looked after her kids well.

"I'm just heartbroken. Wee Amy played with my granddaughter."

Another resident, a man, said: "The children were really nice, lovely children.

"They were always attached to their mum. Every time she went out the little boy was always with her.

"It's really, really sad to think that now she hasn't got her little boy."

Brian Philcox
Brian Philcox was found dead in a Land Rover in a Welsh beauty spot

Police said Mr Philcox had picked up Amy and Owen from an arranged access visit on Friday.

The father and his children had been reported missing on Saturday night and police in Cheshire had been looking for them.

They had been spotted at Llangollen, north Wales, on Saturday.

Later that night, their street in Windmill Hill was evacuated after police uncovered a suspect package in the house during their inquiries to trace the family.

The device was later found to be a hoax but a section of the road remains cordoned off a while police examinations continue.

Superintendent Jed Manley, of Cheshire Police, said about 40 people were moved from the area as a precaution.

"The bomb disposal team was brought in to examine the device. They did so and declared it to be a hoax device," he added.

"It was made to give the appearance of being an explosive device."

On Sunday - Father's Day - North Wales Police were alerted to a car off a hillside road near Llanrwst by a passer-by.

'Man of the Year'

The Land Rover has now been taken from the scene to St Asaph and will be subject to further forensic examinations by experts.

Mr Philcox was involved in the local karate community and was said by neighbours to be going through a divorce.

Originally from the Speke area of Liverpool, he had been practising karate for more than 30 years, reaching sixth dan black belt and winning many competitions.

He also held various senior positions within martial arts organisations in the UK.

He was named "Man of the Year" in 2005 in awards for local worthy citizens in Runcorn.

Remote, quiet spot hit by tragedy
16 Jun 08 |  North West Wales

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