Hundreds attend vigil after mum, two children, and friend ‘on a sleepover’ found dead

Hundreds of people have attended a vigil in Killamarsh, near Sheffield, to remember a mother and three children who were found dead in the village.

A crowd of around 300, including many children, turned up on Monday evening – a few hundred metres from where Terri Harris, 35, was found dead with her children, John Paul Bennett, 13, and Lacey Bennett, 11, and Lacey’s friend, Connie Gent, also aged 11.

A 31-year-old man from Killamarsh has been arrested and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

A neighbour said she understood Connie had been at the house in Chandos Crescent for a sleepover.

Some people placed candles, while others brought flowers and teddy bears to lay in tribute.

There were tears as the pastor of Killamarsh Church on the Street, David Taylor, led the attendees in a prayer.

Mr Taylor said: “I’m not enjoying today. It’s a very sad today but it’s absolutely incredible that so many people have joined us tonight.

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“What do you say at time like this? It’s so difficult.”

The pastor added: “I can’t give you any answers. I don’t have the answers. But each one of you is here to remember four people who are no longer with us.

“And it is a day that we’ll all remember because this doesn’t happen in Killamarsh. But it has.

“Some of you know the family; some of you know the children; some of you will have never seen them before.

“But you’re all here to show your respect. On behalf of the family I just say, ‘thank you’.”

Earlier, John and Lacey’s father Jason Bennett spoke to Sky News as he laid flowers outside the property where the group was found.

“I’m broken, I just want to kiss my babies,” he told Sky’s Becky Johnson. “I just want to kiss them and hold them. TikTok queen and my beautiful boy, they were beautiful. Kindest people you could ever meet.”

Writing on Facebook, Mr Bennett added: “My beautiful boy John and beautiful daughter Lacey have been taken away from me.

“Their mum Terri also lost her life and Lacey’s best friend was also taken away from this world.”

Mr Bennett said he had been making a four-hour journey home when he was told of the deaths, adding that it had “absolutely broken my heart into a million pieces”.

“I didn’t protect my beautiful babies enough from the monsters and now they have been suddenly taken away from me.”

At a news conference on Monday afternoon, Chief Constable Rachel Swann of Derbyshire police said a team of detectives had been “working through the night” to understand what led to the deaths.

In a statement, Derbyshire Constabulary said they were called to the home in Killamarsh at around 7.25am on Sunday following concerns about a man in the area.

The 31-year-old remains in custody. Officers did not have any prior contact with those involved, police added.

Mr Bennett’s parents Debbie and Trevor Bennett also visited the scene of the incident on Monday.

Mrs Bennett said both children loved football – Lacey was a “proper” girl and John enjoyed his computers.

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

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