Murder-suicide hits German family of six - children critical

Other News Materials 9 April 2008 02:47 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A married couple were found dead in Germany Tuesday and appeared to have first tried to poison all four of their children, police in the small town of Westerhausen said.

Two boys, aged 8 and 13, were in critical condition, but the other two seemed likely to recover.

"It looks to us like a domestic crisis. Other parties were definitely not involved," said a police spokesman in the town, close to the tourist centre of Quedlinburg near Germany's Harz mountain range.

The father, 33, and mother, 32, appeared to have taken the poison and died after administering it to the four children, who were found Tuesday afternoon in an "apathetic" state in their home.

The wife's father found the bodies in the parlour about two hours after the couple died and called emergency services. A plastic bottle containing an unidentified liquid was next to them. The children were in their bedrooms.

A girl, 11, fell unconscious as an ambulance arrived. She and her sister, 10, were also taken to hospital.

Neighbours said the family had moved in three years ago and had been well-behaved.