Prime suspect in murder of his partner and eight-month-old daughter is arrested — (The Daily Mail)

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The Daily Mail

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 2:20 PM on 01st March 2010

The prime suspect for the murder of a 24-year-old mother and her eight-month-old baby was arrested today.

Anthony Marsh, 21, who shared a home with victim Stephanie Bellinger was found by a police officer wandering the streets of Fareham, Hants.

The officer approached 6ft 2in Marsh and asked his name before detaining him.

Marsh had not been seen since his partner of four years and their daughter were found dead by relatives on Saturday morning.

A neighbour and her daughters leave flowers near the home of Stephanie Bellinger, 24, whose body was found alongside that of her baby daughter in Totton, near Southampton.

The couple’s two-year-old son Charlie was also in the semi-detached house at the time but was found unhurt.

Before he was held, police had described double murder suspect Marsh as ‘armed and dangerous’.

Last night, questions were being raised as to how the tragedy had been allowed to happen after it was revealed Marsh had a history of depression and was on medication.

His arrest came after his distraught mother Wendy pleaded for her eldest son to give himself up, saying it was ‘pointless to run away and hide’.

Mrs Marsh, 47, broke down in tears during a press conference and struggled to speak as she appealed directly to her son.

She became so distressed she was only able to utter a few words, before collapsing into the arms of a police officer.

Detective Constable John Woodward then read her impassioned statement. ‘Anthony, your mum has this message: If you are watching or you read or hear this, please understand that all your family are very concerned about you,’ he said.

‘They are here to support you. It is pointless to run away and hide. Whatever happened, you must hand yourself in to police or phone them and tell them where you are. Please Anthony, for the sake of all your family.

Marsh’s younger brother Daniel, 18, also broke down in tears as Detective Chief Inspector Colin Mathews said: ‘We consider Mr Marsh to be a dangerous man who should not be approached by the public and we have reason to believe that he may be in possession of a knife.’

It is understood Miss Bellinger’s parents found the bodies of their daughter and granddaughter lying side-by-side on Saturday morning.

They had gone round to the £250,000 house their daughter shared with Mr Marsh in Totton, near Southampton after she failed to answer the phone.

Neighbours reported hearing a ‘terrible’ domestic argument on Friday night and shouting in the street outside. Police arrived on Saturday morning after screaming was heard.four days later and driven home by police.

A family friend said: ‘ Somewhere down the line, someone has failed because they knew he was on medication. He was on tablets, but he never took them.

‘Why wasn’t he given more help? He has twice run away before without taking his medication  –  the warning signs were there but they were ignored.’

The friend, who said Marsh’s father is a former detective, added: ‘I just feel numb. It’s such a sad thing.’

Other friends revealed the couple met when Marsh started as a trainee manager a hotel in the New Forest, Hampshire, where Miss Bellinger worked as a duty manager.

They both left in 2007 when Miss Bellinger became pregnant with Charlie.