Spanish police question British mother over child deaths

19th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police in Spain on Wednesday questioned a British woman who was detained a day earlier on suspicion of killing her two young children at a Spanish seaside hotel.

"She is being questioned today and will be questioned over the coming days," a police spokesman in the northeastern city of Girona told AFP, adding she has not yet been charged with any crime.

Police detained Lianne Smith, 43, on Tuesday at the four-star Hotel Miramar on the beach at the coastal resort of Lloret del Mar after her five-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son were found dead in their hotel room.

Her arrest came on the same day that her husband and the father of the two children, 45-year-old Martin Smith, was extradited back to Britain from Spain to face 13 charges of sexual offences, British police said Wednesday.

Spanish police found the lifeless bodies of the children in the hotel room after she asked the hotel receptionist to call an ambulance.

Autopsies are being carried out on the bodies to determine the cause of death, the Spanish police spokesman said.

There were no traces of violence on their bodies and police suspect the children were suffocated, public television TVE reported citing police sources.

Lianne Smith left a note confessing to the crime, top-selling Spanish daily newspaper El Pais reported Wednesday.

She had checked into the 54-room hotel on Saturday with her two children after arriving by car and paid in advance for four nights, British media reported.

Lianne Smith had been reported missing from the Staffordshire area since December 2007 and police believe she had been living on Spain's Costa Brava with her husband since then.

Martin Smith was arrested on May 7 in Barcelona after being placed on a list of top suspects wanted in Britain who are believed to be living in Spain following his failure to answer bail in January 2008.

Martin Smith, who according to British media reports claimed to be a professional medium, was wanted in connection with the rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.

He appeared in court in Carlisle in northwestern England and was remanded in custody pending a new court appearance.

Lloret del Mar, a city of around 40,000 people located some 70 kilometres (45 miles) northeast of Barcelona is one of the most popular resorts on Spain's Costa Brava and is visited by thousands of British tourists each year.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article