A father-of-four, who was once investigated for acts of domestic violence, was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 26, after five people including his wife and his four children were found dead at the family home on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2023.
A baby and boy of four were among the dead in the apparent massacre in Meaux, north east of Paris.
“Five lifeless bodies were found – two boys and two girls – leading to an investigation into their murders,” said local prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Bladier on Tuesday.
“The prime suspect is the father, aged thirty-three, who was found on Tuesday at a house nearby, after going on the run.”
Geolocation data on his phone revealed that the man left the family flat at around 8.07pm on Christmas Day.
He then went to nearby Sevran to see his father, and to his grandmother in Garges-lès-Gonesse.
The dead children – aged 10, seven, four and nine months – were all inside the family flat, with their mother.
Neither the suspect, nor any of the victims, have yet been named by the French authorities.
“There were a very large number of stab wounds on both the front and back sides, on the trunk, lower and upper limbs as well as defense cuts,” said Mr Bladier.
“Two other victims, the four-year-old boy and the nine-month-old baby, had no had no apparent wounds,” said Mr Bladier.
This led to the early theory that they had died from drowning or suffocation, said the prosecutor.
The arrested man was already known for acts of “domestic violence and for suffering from psychiatric disorders,” said another investigating source.
He was in 2019 investigated for acts of domestic violence, including attacking his wife with a knife.