A triple murder investigation has been launched after the deaths of three men in Exeter.

The bodies of the men, all in their 80s, were discovered in two properties in the city in less than 24 hours.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and remains in custody.

Police launched the first murder investigation after they were called to a house in Bonhay Road on February 11 by the ambulance service just after 3pm.

A man, aged 80, was confirmed dead at the scene. Enquiries remain ongoing to inform his next of kin.

Less than 24 hours later officers then found the bodies of two other men, both aged 84, at a house 1.5 miles away.

They were both confirmed dead at the scene. Their next of kin have been informed.

Police also found two bodies at another house in Exeter less than 24 hours later.

All three deaths are being linked, and treated as suspicious.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, the Local Policing Commander for Exeter, East and Mid Devon said:

I know that this news will cause significant and understandable concern and is an unprecedented event in our city which has shocked us all.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, the Local Policing Commander for Exeter, East and Mid Devon

"I know that everyone’s immediate thoughts will be with the family and friends of these gentlemen, and as you would expect, we are providing as much support as we can to them.

“Residents in the area of both Bonhay Road and Cowick Lane will continue to see police cordons today as we continue vital work. The local neighbourhood team will be out on foot over the next few days in order to provide advice, support, and to answer questions."

Flower tributes at the scene. Credit: ITV News West Country

Police are appealing for anyone with information, and any witnesses who were in either area during specific times.

Anyone who was in the area of Bonhay road and Cowick Lane between 8am on Sunday 10 February and 1pm on Tuesday 12 February and may have seen anything relevant to get in touch with police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 472 11 February.