Police name couple at heart of double murder probe

By Wellington Weekly News   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 23rd November 2021 4:05 pm
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A couple found dead at their home while their children slept upstairs have been named by police.

The pair, whose deaths are now the focus of a double murder inquiry, are believed to be 36-year-old Stephen Chapple and 33-year-old Jennifer Chapple, although formal identification has not yet taken place.

Their children, aged five and six, were found by officers asleep upstairs and are now being looked after by family members.

Specially trained officers are providing support to the families of both Stephen and Jennifer.

A post mortem examination has confirmed Jennifer died from multiple stabs wounds. The post mortem examination to determine Stephen’s cause of death is ongoing.

Two men, aged 34 and 67, were arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday.

Magistrates today granted an extension to the custody time limit in relation to a 34-year-old man while the 67-year-old man has been released under investigation to allow further enquiries to take place.

Cordons remain at two properties on Dragon Rise as officers continue to examine them.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Neil Meade said: “What happened to Stephen and Jennifer is utterly heart-breaking and I can’t begin to imagine the impact their deaths will have on their two children.

“Family liaison officers are supporting both families and keeping them updated on the progress of our investigation.

“I appreciate there is significant interest in what happened and I’d ask people not to speculate and to think about the impact it may have on the families.”

He added: “This is a tragic incident which has shocked the community and neighbourhood officers are patrolling the area to provide reassurance. Should anyone have any concerns about what happened I’d encourage them to talk to them.”

Anyone with information which could help our investigation is asked to phone 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5221274497.

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