THE bodies of four family members have been found hacked to death inside a house in Spain.

The bodies, two of which were children aged around one and four, were discovered by a neighbour near Madrid after they smelt a strange odour coming from the house.

Town mayor Ricardo Garcia Lopez said neighbours of the family have told authorities that they were Brazilians who were renting the property.

The Guardia Civil have closed off the house in Pioz, 40 miles northeast of the capital, and have begun a thorough inspection.

It is thought the family have been dead for at least a month and that the killings were the work of professional hitmen who were hired to settle scores.

The deaths are believed to have been quick.