Funeral for tragic Riggi children


The three Riggi children

By Cara Sulieman

THREE children found dead in an Edinburgh flat earlier this month will be laid to rest in Aberdeen on Friday, it was announced today.

Twins Austin and Luke Riggi, eight, and their five year old sister Cecilia Riggi, were found dead in their home in Edinburgh on August 4.

There had been reports of an explosion at the townhouse in the Slateford area of the city leading to their discovery.

Theresa Riggi, 46, the children’s mother has since been charged in connection with their murder.

She was still recovering in hospital following injuries sustained at the scene.

Family and friends of the children will gather for payers at St Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen before moving on to a private service at the city’s crematorium.

A death notice published yesterday read: “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.”

Listing many family members who will miss the three kids, the announcement goes on to say: “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 awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”

They asked mourners not to send flowers but instead make donations to the Reverend Gordon Trust Orphan Fund at the Cathedral door or through St Peter’s Church in the city.

While friends, colleagues and parishioners of St Mary’s are to be welcomed to the funeral mass, only close family are expected to attend the service at Aberdeen Crematorium afterwards.

In an interview last week, Pasquale Riggi, 46, said he was “paralysed with grief” over his children’s deaths.

Mr Riggi said: “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 difficult part, obviously, is seeing constant reminders on a daily basis in front of you – it’s playing out in the newspapers and on TV.

“It’s almost like it’s happening to someone else and you keep asking yourself, is it me, is this my family.

“And then the reality hits you that it is.”

The couple, originally from the USA, had lived in the UK for 13 years and their children were all born on British soil.

Pasquale worked in the oil industry and the family had made their home at Skene near Aberdeen.

But their relationship had broken down and the Riggis were in the process of divorcing.