French father suspected of killing wife, four children ‘heard voices’
BOBIGNY, France, (AFP) — A 33-year-old French man has admitted killing his wife and their four children, saying he “heard voices” telling him to “cause harm”, the public prosecutor said on Thursday.
French police on Tuesday arrested a man with a history of psychiatric illness on suspicion of murdering his Haitian-born wife and their children aged nine months and four, seven and 10 years old.
Their bodies had been found on Monday, Christmas Day, at home in the town of Meaux east of Paris.
The man, a plumber, has been receiving treatment since 2017 for depression and psychotic behaviour, the prosecutors have said.
Meaux public prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Bladier, citing the results of Wednesday’s autopsy, said the children’s 35-year-old mother and her 10- and seven-year-old daughters had received “around 10 stab wounds each” which had been “administered with great violence”.
The four-year-old and nine-month-old boys “died of asphyxia following drowning”, he added.
The suspect said that he had “not been able to identify a trigger for his act”, said the prosecutor. He has “felt nothing” and “felt empty” after murdering his family, the prosecutor added.
According to Bladier, the suspect “indicated that he had been taking his daily medication” since 2019, but had not taken it on December 24.
Prosecutors did not release the exact date of the murder.
Police discovered the bodies at around 9:00 pm on Monday.
Neighbours told police they had heard cries downstairs during the night of December 24 to 25.
The man had been held in 2019 after stabbing his partner in the shoulder blade when she was pregnant with their third child and then trying to kill himself. She had refused to press charges.