By Enyichukwu Enemanna
French police have taken into custody a 33-year-old man suspected of killing his wife and four children in a knife attack early on Christmas Day, a public prosecutor has said.
Prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Bladier on Tuesday said the suspect’s wife, 35, and two daughters, aged seven and ten years, were stabbed several times overnight from Sunday to Monday.
Al-Jazeera report, quoting the prosecutor says two younger sons, aged nine months and four years, were either suffocated or drowned.
Police broke in through a bedroom window of their ground-floor flat to find a “very violent crime scene” covered in blood, the prosecutor said.
The bodies were found on Monday night in an apartment in the town of Meaux, 40km east of Paris after friends and family raised the alarm.
Prosecutor says the reason for the murder has not been established, revealing that the suspect was arrested on Tuesday outside his father’s home northeast of the French capital, the prosecutor said.
He told police “he knew why he had been detained, and spoke of his unhappiness and depression”, Bladier said.
The suspect is receiving medical care for wounds sustained on his hand.
In 2019, the suspect had stabbed his partner once while she was pregnant with their older son.
The investigation was however dropped because he was declared mentally unsound at the time of the attack, the prosecutor said.
He had been placed in a psychiatric hospital in 2017 and also attempted suicide that year.
The couple had been together for 14 years and had known each other since high school, Bladier said.
They had their four children before they married in October.
Neighbours told investigators they had heard screams during the early hours of Christmas Day. The alarm was raised later in the day after they failed to get any response from the family.
None of the family members’ names were released, according to French law protecting minors who are victims of crimes.