A British couple and their daughter have been found dead in a rented apartment in Mijas, southern Spain.
The family was found to have been shot dead and police are investigating the circumstances of the shooting. However, it may be a case of murder-suicide.
Local media reports (Spanish language) that the mother suffered from a physical disability and the daughter, in her 20's, had Downs Syndrome.
An official with Spain's Interior Ministry told the English media that the family had been living in a rented property in a complex in Tarifa Street, Torrenueva de Mijas near Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for several years.
According to the London Evening Standard newspaper, the shooting could well have been a murder-suicide.
In a police report it was claimed the unnamed man may have killed his wife and his daughter before turning the gun on himself. The owner of the property alerted the police as he had not been able to contact the couple and had not received rent from them.
A Guardia Civil spokeswoman said, "The latest information we have is that the owner of the house had not heard from the family for a few days and had not been paid," she said. "He went to the house today and when there was no reply at the door, he went inside. Inside he saw the man dead on the sofa and immediately called the Guardia Civil."
"When officers inspected the house they found the wife and the daughter dead in a bedroom. The initial hypothesis at this early stage of the investigation is that this was a murder-suicide."
The British Foreign Office is aware of the reports and officials have been in close contact with local authorities in Spain. As yet, no names have been released.
The urbanization of Torrenueva de Mijas has a close-knit British expat community and is popular for families with children.
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