The BBC have described the crossbow deaths of the wife and two daughters of racing commentator John Hunt as “utterly devastating” after a manhunt was launched for their alleged killer.

As part of a note sent to BBC 5 Live staff on Wednesday, the organisation said it would provide Mr Hunt with “all the support we can” following the murders of Carol Hunt and her two daughters in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

A massive manhunt has been launched for their suspected killer, Kyle Clifford, 26, who is believed by police to be armed and in Hertfordshire or north London.

The note to BBC 5 Live staff read: “The news today about John Hunt’s family is utterly devastating.

“Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can.”

Armed police searched a home in Rendlesham Road, Enfield, on Wednesday morning as the hunt for Clifford continued.

Bushey triple murder
Hertfordshire Police have urged Kyle Clifford to make contact with the force (Hertfordshire Police/PA)

He is wanted over the deaths of Mrs Hunt and two of her daughters who were aged 25 and 28.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson from Hertfordshire Police told reporters the murders are believed to be “targeted”.

The force also warned the public not to approach the suspect who “may be in possession of a crossbow”.

Messages of condolence were posted on social media by figures from the racing world.

ITV racing commentator Matt Chapman wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “No words needed for what has happened to @HuntyCaller and family today.

“Impossible to comprehend the pain. Just know we are all here for you John. We love you pal – racing loves you.”

Graphic showing the area of Hertfordshire murder manhunt
(PA Graphics)

The Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain and Beverley Racecourse were among others sending their sympathies.

Addressing Clifford directly, he said: “Kyle, if you are seeing or hearing this, please make contact with the police.”

The force said it is looking at whether it had contact with the victims or Clifford before the killings.

One neighbour described hearing screams from the suburban home where the three women died on Tuesday.

Police car
Residents described the ‘absolute chaos’ as armed police arrived in the street (James Manning/PA)

The 46-year-old who works in the media and lives near the scene but asked not to be named, said “absolute chaos” then broke out as armed police put the road into lockdown.

She told the PA news agency: “It was between 6.30pm and 7pm last night and it literally just sounded like kids, somebody screaming, and then it was more shrill and I was like ‘that’s definitely a woman screaming’, and within 15 minutes, it was absolute chaos.

“We had armed police running down, screaming ‘stay in your house’… they shut us off and basically put us into lockdown.”

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said she is being kept fully updated about the inquiry into the “truly shocking” deaths.