Police officers who found the bodies of five children believed to have been murdered by their mum left the scene in tears.
The town of Solingen in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia was in a state of shock yesterday after five children were found dead in their home.
Three girls aged one and a half, two and three years old, and two boys – named as Luca, eight, and Timo, six – lost their lives.
Police officers were tipped off about the deaths by the children’s grandmother and were seen breaking into the flat with a crowbar.
Some while later neighbours spotted some of the emergency workers leaving in tears.
“When the police and rescue workers came out crying, it was clear to us that something bad must have happened,” one resident told Pledge Times.
The 27-year-old mother of the children, named as Christiane K in German media, is suspected of being responsible for the killings.
The head of the homicide panel investigating the case, Marcel Maierhofer, said that the autopsies of the children all indicated evidence of suffocation and of sedation.
Following the deaths, which are believed to have taken place on Wednesday night, the mother is said to have boarded a train with her surviving child, named as Marcel.
He was left on the train while Christiane K alighted.
She then threw herself onto the tracks at Dusseldorf station, police confirmed today.
She is in hospital in a serious condition.
Marcel is said to have been unharmed and continued travelling on the train to his grandma’s house in Monchengladbach.
German railway operator DB said there were closures in Dusseldorf yesterday because an emergency doctor had been needed on the track.
Police said the children’s grandma alerted them to the tragedy at 2pm on Thursday and ambulances rushed to the flat.
Rescuers themselves were said to be traumatised by what they found in the building, and also shocked by the state of the family’s living conditions.
It is not clear if the surviving child witnessed any of what unfolded in the apartment.
Four of the children were from the mother’s most recent marriage and two from an earlier relationship.
Neither father is considered a suspect at this point, investigators said.
Stefan Weiand, a police spokesman at the house, said it was a ‘tragic situation’ and the mum was not yet in a fit state to be questioned.
He said: “We are assuming a crime was committed. How and why that happened, we cannot say.
“At the moment, we assume that the 27-year-old mother was responsible.
“The mother threw herself in front of a train in Dusseldorf and is badly injured.
“At the moment she is being treated in hospital.”
North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul told RTL: “The family drama in Solingen fills me with great sadness, and at the moment I am with my thoughts and prayers with five small children who were torn from life so terribly early.”
Jürgen Hardt, a member of the German parliament, said: “I wish the emergency services and the police strength as they deal with the case, which will affect them deeply as well.”
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