THE three children who died in an Edinburgh townhouse sparking a major police investigation had all suffered stab wounds to the chest, official documents have revealed.
The bodies of eight-year-old twins Augustino and Gianluca Riggi, known as Austin and Luca, and their five-year-old sister Cecilia were discovered at the home on Slateford Road following reports of an explosion.
Their mother Theresa Riggi, 46, has been charged with their murder and is currently being treated at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The death certificates for the three youngsters have now been lodged with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
The certificates, signed by their devastated father Pasquale Riggi, state the children had each been stabbed in the chest and died just after 3pm on August 4.
Mr Riggi, who said he was "paralysed with grief" after learning of the death of his children, will say a final farewell to them on Friday. A funeral mass will be held at 11am in Aberdeen's St Mary's Cathedral before family attend a private service at Aberdeen Crematorium.
In a funeral announcement, the family said: "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.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go . . . they stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same."
In an interview last week, Mr Riggi, 46, spoke lovingly of his last outing with his "happy, healthy, bright" children and told how he marked what would have been Cecilia's sixth birthday on August 9 with a cake and a home video of her dancing. He added: "You are paralysed with grief. You are not sure what to do next.
"It is bad enough that you have lost three beautiful children, but certainly the tragedy around their deaths makes it much more painful.
"The reality of it all is too difficult to take all at once. You can't even get your head around it."
Mr Riggi, a shell employee from Colorado, and his wife Theresa, from California, arrived in the UK 13 years ago.
After living in Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast, they spent two years in the Netherlands, before moving to Aberdeen in February 2007.
The Riggis later separated and had begun divorce proceedings. Mrs Riggi left the family's home with the children at the beginning of July for Edinburgh.