LONDON (BNO NEWS) — Two British parents were arrested on Tuesday morning on suspicion of murder after their children were killed in a house fire in central England earlier this month, police said.
Police arrested Mick Philpcott, 55, who has fathered seventeen children in a number of different relationships, and his wife Mairead, 31. After being observed for several weeks, police made the arrests on suspicion of murder. However, Derbyshire Police Assistant chief Constable Steve Cotterill said investigators are still searching for answers.
“We still need information to help us in this inquiry. The latest arrests are just one step further in the investigation,” Cotterill said. “It is absolutely vital that if you know anything you think could help us, come forward now, do not wait any longer. It is important that we find justice for these six young children.”
The incident occurred on May 11 when a fire was set to a house in the Allenton area of Derby City, which is located in the East Midlands region of England. Six children aged between 5 and 13 years old were killed in the fire due to smoke inhalation. Police previously said petrol was used to accelerate the blaze.
Killed in the fire were 10-year-old Jade Philpott, brothers John, 9, Jack, 7, Jessie, 6, and Jayden, 5. Their 13-year-old elder brother Duwayne died two days later while being treated at the intensive care unit of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Both Mick and Mairead Philpott gathered media attention when they appeared in a press conference following the deadly fire, weeping sorrowfully as the father announced Duwayne’s organs would be donated for transplant. The couple also received over £10,000 ($ 15,500) in donations in order to pay the children’s funerals, which have yet to take place, but plans are for the ceremony to be carried out at the Derby Cathedral.