THE three children who were allegedly murdered by their mother in an Edinburgh townhouse each died as the result of multiple stab wounds to their chests, official reports have revealed.
• Theresa Riggi with her children - twins Austin and Luca, eight, and Cecilia, five - whom she is accused of murdering
Details of the cause of death of eight-year-old twins Austin and Luke Riggi and their five-year-old sister Cecilia have been disclosed in the register of their deaths, lodged at the Aberdeen Registrar's office.
The bodies of the three children were found in a townhouse in Slateford Road, Edinburgh, on 4 August.
Their mother Theresa Riggi, 46, the estranged wife of the children's father, has been charged with their murder. But Mrs Riggi, who is being treated in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after falling from a second-floor balcony of the building, has still to appear in court.
In each case, the cause of death of the children is recorded as "stab wounds of chest". All three children are said to have died at Slateford Road at 3.02pm on 4 August. Ceceilia died five days before her sixth birthday. The twin boys were born 17 December, 2001.
It was also revealed yesterday that a funeral service is to be held on Friday for the three children in Aberdeen's Roman Catholic cathedral.
Last week the children's devastated father, Pasquale Riggi, told how he had been "paralysed with grief" by their deaths.
Mr Riggi, an American oil reservoir engineer who stays in Aberdeen, described his children as his "beautiful blessing" and spoke of how his hopes and dreams for their futures had been destroyed in "an instant".
"We were so blessed, the memories we have will forever provide joy," he said.
Mr Riggi will lead mourners at the funeral service which will be held on Friday morning in St Mary's Cathedral in Aberdeen, the city's main Roman Catholic church.
The funeral mass will be followed by a private family service at the city's crematorium. A death notice, posted by the Riggi family in an Aberdeen news-paper, states: "It is with great sadness and grief that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of Austin, aged 8 years, Luke, aged 8 years, and Cecilia, aged 5 years, on August 4, 2010.
"Much loved sons and daughter of Pasquale (Colorado, USA) and Theresa (California, USA), dear grandchildren of Mario and Silvia Riggi (Colorado) and William (deceased) and Patricia Butimore (California)."
The poignant notice continues: "Survived by many more great-aunts and uncles and second and third cousins, who will miss little 'Austi' 'Luke-E' and 'Cili'.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go … They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."
The notice adds: "Friends, colleagues and St Mary's parishioners are welcome to attend.Private family service at Aberdeen Crematorium will follow."
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to a local trust for orphaned children.
Mr Riggi, 46, of Aberdeen,had been fighting a prolonged custody battle with his estranged wife in the months leading up to the tragedy.
He and his wife first left the United States in 1997, when Mr Riggi was posted to Europe by his employers, Shell.
The family spent much of their time in Lowestoft, where Shell controls its southern North Sea operations, and in the Netherlands before moving to Aberdeen three years ago.