The family of Bernadette and Sarah Fox have said they are "devastated" following the murders of the Merseyside mother and her daughter.

Bernadette, 57, was found dead at her home at 4am on 17 April. Her daughter, Sarah, 27, was discovered in another property at 9.15pm on 16 April.

A spokesman for the Fox family said in a statement they are "still trying to come to terms" with the loss of their relatives.

"We are absolutely devastated following the loss of Bernadette and Sarah and are still trying to come to terms with what has happened to them both. Bernadette, who was a mother of three and grandmother of three, was a very outgoing and lovely person who wouldn't harm anyone.

"In fact she only ever had nice things to say about people. She was so caring and would help anyone. And Sarah was loved by her family and well-liked by her friends and neighbours. She was a fantastic aunty and was a cheeky, bubbly and outgoing person who loved her dog. They will both be greatly missed."

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Rooney said Merseyside Police 'urgently' need to speak to Peter Fox, Bernadette's son.

"We are currently trying to trace Peter Fox, the son of Bernadette, as he could have information which could assist with our investigation. I would appeal to Peter to come forward so that we can speak to him following the murders of his mother and sister.

"I would also ask the public to help us find Peter as we need to speak to him urgently in relation to the two murders. I would stress to the public that if they do see Peter Fox, they should not approach him. We would urge anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact the police on 999."

Mr Rooney added that no motive has as yet been established for the killings.

"The investigation into these deaths is at an early stage and, although the motive is unclear at this time, we believe the offender may be known to the victims. I would like to reassure residents who live in the Bootle area where these addresses are located that we have increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance and support."

Fox is described as white, between 5ft 2in and 5ft 5in and of slight build with short, dark hair and brown eyes. He speaks with a Liverpool accent.

Both properties remained sealed off while forensic investigators carry out searches. Detectives are also looking for CCTV footage. Post-mortem investigations are being carried out on the bodies of the two women.

Anyone with information relating to the murders is urged to call police at the Major Incident Room on 0151 777 3802 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.