31/01/2012 05:30 GMT | Updated 31/01/2012 07:02 GMT

Man Charged Over Murder Of Birmingham Couple Carol And Avtar Kolar Commits Suicide In Prison

A 37-year-old man charged with the killing of Birmingham couple Avtar And Carole Kolar has committed suicide in prison.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed reports that Lithuanian Rimvydas Liorancas had taken his own life at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

"HMP Woodhill prisoner Rimvydas Liorancas was found hanging in his cell at 8.52am on Saturday 28 January," a Prison Service spokesperson said.

"Staff attempted resuscitation and paramedics attended but he was pronounced dead at 9.30am.

"As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

Avtar Kolar, 62 and his wife Carole Kolar, 58 were found dead in their home in Handsworth Wood on 11 January. Post-mortem examinations revealed both died as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head, each sustaining a number of blows.

They had been married for 40 years and have four children. They were found at the Friary Road property by their policeman son Jason.

West Midlands Police said that a lump hammer found at the scene was used in the murders.

At an emotional press conference the day after the couple were found dead, their son and daughter Michelle Kirwan, 39, and her brother, Avtar Kolar, 32, held hands and sobbed as they said their hearts had been "broken forever".

The Birmingham couple were thought to have been killed in a bungled burglary. Although their son was a police officer, the murders were nothing to do with his work with gangs. Some of the items that had been stolen from the property were later recovered.

Liorancas was arrested at an address in Birmingham on 16 January following a manhunt.

He appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on 23 January, where he listened to proceedings via an interpreter and spoke only to confirm his name.

He was due to appear before the court again for a plea hearing on 25 May and a trial date was fixed for August 28.

It is understood Liorancas was not considered at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Avtar and Carole Kolar's family revealed that they had been informed of Liorancas' death by West Midlands Police.

They said: "We were made aware of the death of Liorancas by police on Saturday.

"We understand the investigation into our parents' deaths will continue and the findings be presented to the coroner.

"We ask that we be left alone as we continue to grieve over the deaths of our mum and dad."