The Frenchman is said to have killed his wife and four children near Paris

The suspect is known to police for domestic violence and mental disorders. Authorities found the bodies of a woman and three children aged four, seven and ten on Christmas Day.

Meaux (APA/dpa) – A 33-year-old man in France is suspected of killing his wife and their four children. The man was arrested in front of his father's house, not far from the crime scene, police sources said on Tuesday. Accordingly, the person is already known for domestic violence and psychological disorders.

The Versailles Criminal Investigation Department said it has opened an investigation into the killing of minors under the age of 15 and murder by an accomplice. Local prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Blatier said the accused had not yet been tried. However, he told the police, “I know why he was arrested.” He told officers “about his dissatisfaction and depression.” The accused also had injuries on his hand.

Bodies found on Christmas Day

Prosecutor Blatier said authorities found the bodies of a 35-year-old woman and children aged nine months, four, seven and ten in their apartment in Meigs, near Paris, on Christmas Day. “The apartment showed no signs of being broken into and the father was not.” Authorities acted on a tip-off from concerned relatives. Neighbors reported to the police that they heard screaming on the ground floor on the night of December 25.

Police officers reportedly entered the ground-floor apartment through a bedroom window after being alerted by neighbours. There they found a “very violent crime scene”. Police sources said the mother was lying on the pavement. Children were found dead in their rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. According to the prosecutor, the woman and the two girls suffered “a very large number of stab wounds”. The two younger boys may have suffocated.

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According to the state attorney's office, the father of the family had been treated for depression and psychotic behavior since 2017. He was already arrested once in 2019: that time he tried to commit suicide by stabbing his pregnant girlfriend in the shoulder. However, the woman refused to file a complaint against her partner. According to the prosecutor, the man underwent further treatment after the attack and the investigation was closed. The couple, who had known each other since school, eventually got married.

Several cases of infanticide in and around Paris

Meaux is located 45 kilometers east of Paris. On Christmas Day, many people put flowers in front of the family's house. The woman was friendly, said the 69-year-old resident, who did not want to give her last name. “She talked to everybody.”

There have been several recent infanticides in the Paris area. In late November, a 41-year-old man from Alfordville, southeast of the capital, confessed to killing his three daughters, aged four to eleven. A month ago, a police officer killed his three daughters and himself in Vaymers, northeast of Paris.

On average, a woman is killed every three days in France. Last year, around 118 women in France were killed by their partner or ex-partner. Activists accuse law enforcement officials of not taking the problem seriously enough.

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