Seine-et-Marne: a man, suspected of having killed his partner and his four children in Meaux, was placed in police custody

“The alleged perpetrator” of a quintuple murder that occurred in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), placed in police custody on Tuesday December 26, was known for acts of domestic violence

Seine-et-Marne: a man, suspected of having killed his partner and his four children in Meaux, was placed in police custody

“The alleged perpetrator” of a quintuple murder that occurred in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), placed in police custody on Tuesday December 26, was known for acts of domestic violence. Shortly before 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, five bodies were discovered in an apartment. It was "a mother and her four children, aged 10 years, 7 years, 4 years and 9 months respectively", reported Tuesday, the public prosecutor of Meaux, Jean-Baptiste Bladier, who provided some details of the facts during a press conference.

After being contacted by worried relatives in the absence of news from the victims, the police discovered “what clearly constitutes a very violent crime scene”, described the prosecutor. A 35-year-old woman and her two daughters “were victims of a very large number of stab wounds, the number of which it is impossible to determine in this state (…) both on the front and back of the bodies” , according to the first forensic findings. “Traces, puddles and pools of blood” were observed in different rooms of the apartment.

The cause of death of the young boys, aged 4 years and nine months respectively, with no visible wounds on their bodies, remains undetermined. The prosecutor favors the trail of suffocation, or even drowning for the oldest. Autopsies will continue on Wednesday.

First stabbings in 2019

The father, absent when the bodies were found, was sought by the police before being arrested on Tuesday morning. He was subsequently taken into custody, but remains hospitalized with “significant” hand injuries.

The 33-year-old man has not yet been questioned but, according to the police who took him into police custody, he says he "knows why he is in police custody, taken from his family, citing personal discomfort and depression,” reports the public prosecutor.

If his criminal record is empty, there is a procedure against him for domestic violence and psychiatric disorders. He had already stabbed his wife in the shoulder blade in 2019, said the Meaux public prosecutor. The procedure was dismissed on the grounds of deficient mental state, Jean-Baptiste Bladier said during his press conference.

An expert report attested to the existence of the abolition of discernment in the accused, monitored since 2017 for depressive and psychotic disorders.

Investigation into intentional homicide with premeditation

Investigations were opened for “intentional homicides of minors under 15” and for “intentional homicides of a spouse”, punishable by life imprisonment, recalled the Meaux prosecutor. The investigations were entrusted to the Versailles judicial police service.

“If the competent authorities were to conclude – not before several months – the existence of an alteration of discernment at the time of the facts, the penalty incurred would be thirty years (…) If they conclude that discernment was abolished, there would be a procedural route proceeding to the referral to the court of appeal to order security measures,” specified the prosecutor.

Recent news has been marked by two triple infanticides perpetrated by fathers in the Paris region. At the end of November, a 41-year-old man went to a police station to confess to the murder of his three daughters aged 4 to 11 in Alfortville (Val-de-Marne). He notably mentioned a conflict context with his ex-spouse regarding child custody. A month earlier, in October, a gendarme had killed his three daughters before killing himself at his home in Vémars, in Val-d'Oise. The facts also took place “in a complicated family context”, according to the Pontoise public prosecutor’s office.

On average, a feminicide occurs every three days in France: 118 women were killed last year by their spouse or ex-spouse. These tragedies often occur in the context of a breakup. In total, 244,300 victims of domestic violence, the vast majority women, were identified by the police, an increase of 15% compared to 2021, interpreted by associations as a sign of better support. take their word into account. Of the 118 victims of femicide, 37 women, or nearly a third, had already suffered violence from their spouse or ex-spouse before being killed.