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Europe

Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

Authorities across three countries are looking for twin girls who have been missing since their father abducted them in Switzerland and then killed himself in southern Italy.

Police handout of Alessia and Livia Schepp

The twins have been missing for more than a week

Police in Switzerland, Italy and France ordered fresh searches on Monday for missing twin girls who were snatched from their home in western Switzerland by their father, who has since killed himself.

Police were using tracker dogs in an area around the train station of Cerignola in southern Italy, where 43-year-old Matthias Kaspar Schepp threw himself in front of a train on Friday.

Five days before his suicide, Canadian-born Swiss Schepp had abducted Livia and Alessia from the Swiss village of Saint-Sulpice. Schepp and his wife, Irina Lucidi, were separated and had shared custody of the twins.

No sign of the girls

After kidnapping the six-year-old twins, Schepp drove them away in a car belonging to his estranged wife. Police believe he traveled to southern France and, in Marseille, bought a ferry ticket to Corsica. He also sent a postcard to his wife, telling her that he could not live without her.

Police on Monday again appealed for eye witnesses who may have seen the twins or their father along the way to come forward. There has been no sign of the twins since January 30, when they were in Saint-Sulpice near their father's home.

Alessia was wearing a striped white, pink and red T-shirt, jeans and black boots as well as a white anorak. Livia was dressed in a purple ski anorak and white and pink shoes. They both wore distinctive medical glasses with colorful frames.

Author: Nicole Goebel (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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