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Mother of dead children in Spain disappeared from Lichfield

The mother of two children found dead in a Spanish hotel has been treated as a missing person by Staffordshire Police since December 2007.

In a statement issued today the force said that it considered Lianne Smith and her daughter Rebecca as missing following their disappearance from Lichfield almost two and a half years ago.

The two had apparently moved to Lichfield from Cumbria for a brief period, before moving on again to Spain with Martin Smith. At the time Martin Smith was under investigation for serious sexual offences. According to the BBC he appeared at Carlisle magistrates this morning to face thirteen charges of sexual offences and for failing to answer police bail after being arrested in Spain earlier this month.

This latest detail emergesd after their children, Rebecca, five and 11-month-old Daniel, were found dead in a hotel room in Spain on Tuesday. Lianne Smith is being held by police in Spain on suspicion of murdering the two children.

Prior to their disappearance Staffordshire Police was working with Cumbria Police, Staffordshire Social Services, Interpol and other law enforcement agencies to trace the family. Staffordshire is continuing to provide full support to Cumbria Police as well as Spanish authorities.

Staffordshire County Council have also issued a statement about Lianne and Rebecca Smith;

Staffordshire County Council children’s and young people’s services first became aware that Lianne and Rebecca Smith were living in Staffordshire on November 9 2007. This was brought to our attention by Cumbria County Council through the usual procedure when a family known to social services moves to a different area.

Social Workers initially contacted Mrs Smith shortly afterwards. This was a normal and responsible function of our safeguarding duty which we carry out in close co-operation with Staffordshire Police. Social workers remained actively involved and in contact with the family until we learned they had left Staffordshire.

We are aware of claims made in the media that Lianne feared Rebecca was to be taken into care. It is impossible to say what the outcome of our safeguarding action would have been as the family left Staffordshire and we were unable to have any further direct contact with them.

We continued to review the case and co-operate with the missing person’s enquiry once they had left the county.

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