Third body found at millionaire's mansion

LONDON (Reuters) - Police have found a third body in the fire-ravaged remains of a millionaire’s country mansion after his wife was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, a police spokesman said on Monday.

Search teams have yet to remove the body from the detached house in Maesbrook, Shropshire, and it has not been formally identified.

Businessman Christopher Foster has not been seen since a huge blaze tore through Osbaston House early last Tuesday.

The body of his wife, Jill, 49, was found in the burned-out remains of the mansion on Friday. The body of a man was also found, although police have not identified him. The couple’s daughter Kirstie, 15, is missing.

Detective Superintendent Jon Groves, of West Mercia police, leading the inquiry, said the third body had not been identified.

“Due to its position, it will take some time to remove,” he said in a statement. “We are hoping to get it out by the end of today (Monday). “A forensic archaeologist is due to visit the site this morning to offer specialist advice to those working to recover the body.”

Police found a rifle, owned by the businessman, and spent and unspent cartridges in the house and grounds. Three horses and four dogs were shot before the fire broke out.

Forensics officers in white suits are carrying out a painstaking search of the scene, sifting through tonnes of debris in a process that could take weeks.

Police have not commented on speculation about the motive for the arson attack or the murder of Jill Foster.

Newspapers said Foster’s main company Ulva Ltd, which supplied insulation for oil rigs, went into liquidation last year with debts of nearly one million pounds.

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Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison