An evil father allegedly killed his wife and two young daughters before lying down next to them and burning himself alive in a house fire.
Frank Robers, 47, is believed to have killed Antje, 40, and their two daughters Julie, five, and Helen, three, before starting the fatal fire on April 22.
Investigators initially suspected that Robers, from Bremen, Germany, was drugging his wife and children with sleeping pills, but this has not been confirmed by the autopsy.
Chief prosecutor Frank Passade told local newspaper Bild: “The man first strangled his wife until she passed out. Then he stabbed her. He suffocated the two children.
“Whether they have previously been drugged with sleeping pills is still under investigation. Toxicological findings are still pending.”
After the evil deed, Robers would lie down next to his wife, a German and English teacher at a local school, and set their home on fire.
He died from smoke inhalation.
Neighbors noticed the smoke at 9.30am and immediately called the firefighters who rushed to the scene.
Firefighters managed to save only three-year-old Helen, who was reanimated on the spot but later died in hospital.
Nearby residents were shocked by the incident after the family took part in a TV quiz just three weeks earlier.
And a colleague from Immobilien Bremen, a public law institute where Robers worked, said: “Frank was an absolutely reliable and experienced colleague. Nobody thought he could do such a thing.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid offers this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including Women’s Aid’s live chat helpline and services like SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarize yourself with the silent solution by reporting abuse without speaking on the phone by dialing “55” instead.
- Always keep some money with you, including change for a pay phone or bus ticket.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try going to a low-risk area of the house, such as where there is a way out and access to a phone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you may be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you may be locked up in a closet or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open on weekdays and weekends during the crisis: email@example.com.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available from 10:00 to 16:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 to 12:00 on weekends.
You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline’s 24-hour toll-free number on 0808 2000247.
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The prosecutor’s office has not disclosed any information on the circumstances of the family’s death and is investigating the background to the crime.
Police spokesman Franka Haedke said: “According to the current state of the investigation, he [Robers] set the house on fire, after which he himself died from the fire. “
Attorney General Frank Passade said: “The motive and type of murder are still part of the investigation. We’ll know more next week.”
If you are interested in any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.