Erica Pederson Releases Picture Of Children, Ben And Freya, Killed By Father Michael (PICTURES)

"My Angels Are In Heaven Now"

The mother of two children murdered by their father who then killed himself has released a photograph of "her angels" as an inquest opened into their deaths.

The bodies of Michael, 51, Ben, seven, and Freya Pedersen, six, were found next to a Saab 900SE convertible car in a tiny lane at Newton Stacey, near Andover, Hampshire, on Sunday.

The children's mother, Erica Pedersen, released a photograph of herself with the two children along with the statement: "My angels are in heaven now."

"My angels are in heaven now"

Grahame Short, coroner for central Hampshire, heard evidence confirming the identities of the three deceased before adjourning the inquest until December.

The hearing was also told that post-mortem examinations showed that all three died of stab wounds.

The former army sergeant, who was in the Household Cavalry unit hit in an IRA nail bomb attack in Hyde Park in 1982, had recently split from his wife.

The bridleway where the bodies were found

Mr Pedersen, who had been living in Chertsey, Surrey, had taken the children to visit his father in Andover but failed to return the two youngsters to their mother by the pre-arranged time of 5pm.

The bodies were found lying behind the car at 6.15pm on Sunday by a walker, according to police.

Michael Pedersen aged 23 leads Sefton, the horse he was riding during the Hyde Park bombing, in 1982

Officers were tracing the family of Mr Pedersen, who had two other children from a previous relationship, when his estranged wife raised the alarm.

The children's maternal grandfather, William Clifford, 67, from Buckinghamshire, said the family was "extremely distressed" by the deaths.

Pedersen, who had two children from a previous relationship, wrote on Facebook in August that he had split from his second wife Erica, 43, with whom he ran a haulage business called High Road Logistics.

He said: "Worst day of my life.

"Sadly have split with Erica am absolutely distraught."

A navy Saab 900 SE car being taken away from the scene where the man and two children were found dead

The 1982 bomb attack hit as Pedersen's unit was taking part in a changing of the guard ceremony.

Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the explosion, which left Pedersen's horse Sefton seriously injured.

Despite 34 separate wounds that required eight hours of surgery, the animal survived and became famous for battling against the odds.

Sefton became a symbol of the struggle against the IRA and won the Horse of the Year, a prize Sgt Pedersen picked up on the animal's behalf.


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