Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 14:50 UK

Police await mansion bodies tests

Searches at the burnt-out house

Detectives are awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations on the remains of two bodies found in a burnt-out mansion in Shropshire.

The bodies of Jill Foster, 49, and an unidentified man were discovered in Osbaston House, in Maesbrook, following Tuesday's blaze.

A third body, expected to be identified as Kirstie Foster, 15, was removed from the house on Monday evening.

She and her father Christopher, 50, remain unaccounted for.

A gun found near the first two bodies has been identified as a .22 rifle which was legitimately owned by the businessman.

Supt Gary Higgins on the status of the investigation

A post-mortem examination found Mrs Foster died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.

West Mercia Police has said it is treating the deaths as murder and tests were being carried out on the gun to assess whether it was the murder weapon.

They said the third body, which was found on Sunday, was removed following a long and meticulous process involving the help of a forensic archaeologist.

Det Supt Jon Groves said he hoped to reveal the results of the post-mortem examinations later on Tuesday.

He said: "At this stage we are not able to release any details of the body, including whether it is male or female, as until the post-mortem is complete we do not have that information.

"We will be looking to establish whether the body is that of Kirstie Foster, or indeed Christopher Foster, as both of them remain unaccounted for at this time."

He added that the search and examination of the property could take weeks.

Three horses and four dogs were also found dead in different parts of the house and its grounds. All had been shot.

The Fosters were last seen the night before the blaze at a friend's barbecue.

Legal action

Kirstie had been online until about 0100 BST on the morning of the fire, which started at about 0400 BST.

Chris, Jill and Kirstie Foster
The family were last seen at a barbecue last Monday

Mr Foster had become a millionaire by developing insulation technology for oil rigs.

His company Ulva Ltd had gone into liquidation and court records show that it faced legal action from one of its suppliers for thousands of pounds as well as owing about 800,000 in tax.

Kirstie had written on her page on the social networking site Bebo that her horses were her "life" and posted dozens of pictures of her with the animals.

Friends have left messages on her page.

One friend, Chloe, wrote: "I can't belive that one of the bodys was your mam. RIP Jill Foster. I hope that the other body isnt your dad." [sic]

Another friend called Lucy said: "Forever in our hearts, once there forever in our lives."

Brendan Wignall, head teacher of the private Ellesmere College which Kirstie attended, said: "We are all deeply concerned about this latest development in the ongoing investigation."

Prayers were said for the family on Sunday at Maesbrook Parish Church.

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Yorkshire Post Mansion millionaire 'killed family' Millionaire businessman Christopher Foster was filmed by his own CCTV cameras firing a rifle at a horsebox shortly after he killed his wife and teenage daughter, detectives have said. - 30 mins ago
Glasgow Herald Mansion murder: body identified as Christopher Foster - 32 mins ago
Telegraph Mansion arson inquiry Christopher Foster murdered wife and daughter - 52 mins ago
Dewsbury Reporter Mansion millionaire 'killed family' - 52 mins ago
CNN Police: Tycoon killed family in mansion arson - 1 hr ago

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