The four people stabbed to death in a house in south-east London have been formally identified by police.
Denton Burke, 58, and his partner, a retired NHS worker, Dolet Hill, 64, were killed at their home in Delaford Road, Bermondsey, on Monday. Hill’s daughter, Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, also known as Rachquel, who lived in Kennington, and Ofori-Akuffo’s daughter, Samantha Drummonds, 27, who lived in Forest Hill, also died.
A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody. He is being treated in hospital and is in a stable condition.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust paid tribute to Hill, who was an active trade union member. Alastair Gourlay, director of estates and facilities, said: “We are devastated to hear about the tragic death of Dolet Hill, who worked as a housekeeping assistant in our pharmacy department for more than 21 years, before her retirement in 2018.
“Dolet was a well-respected colleague, who also helped to improve the workplace for others as an active Unison representative. Our thoughts are with Dolet’s family, friends and all who worked with her.”
DCI Linda Bradley, who is leading the investigation into the deaths, said it would be “a protracted inquiry”. “This was a truly horrific incident and I fully recognize that the distress for the family and the community will be overwhelming.”
Bradley said the police were moving “as fast as we can at the scene”, but added it would take time to uncover all the facts and secure necessary evidence. “We are conducting a thorough and detailed investigation into the facts and we are appealing to anyone who can assist with any information to come forward,” she said. “We are aware that we have family, friends and a community that are all asking questions; we are determined to give them the answers they deserve as soon as possible.”
Neighbors on Monday expressed their disbelief. Danny Smith, 39, an acquaintance of the household who has lived in the area for 20 years, first heard screaming at 1am. Describing the victims as “such a nice family”, Smith said that while he had heard occasional police raids, he had never heard of something like this in the area.
“It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened here,” said Smith, who saw police officers arrive in the early hours of the morning. “It’s not the nicest neighborhood, but everybody knows each other.”
Another neighbor who heard screams on Monday morning and asked not to be named, described the incident as “a very barbaric act” and said it was tragic.
Anne Birkett, 60, was woken by police sirens and a helicopter circling overhead before 2am. “It’s devastating – you hear all of this but you never assume it’s going to be right on your own doorstep,” said Birkett, a foster carer who lives nearby.