Germany: Police uncover likely motive for family slaying | News | DW | 07.12.2021

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Germany: Police uncover likely motive for family slaying

Authorities now believe the father killed his wife, three children and himself because he feared social services would take his children away. He had been caught forging a COVID-19 vaccination certificate for his wife.

Police outside the residence in Königs Wusterhausen

Prosecutors theorize that the father of the family feared legal action after forging a COVID vaccination certificate for his wife

Police in Germany's northeastern state of Brandenburg announced on Tuesday that they had uncovered a possible motive in the deaths of a five-person family that shocked the town of Königs Wusterhausen over the weekend.

Prosecutors in the nearby city of Cottbus now believe that the father, 40, killed his wife, also aged 40, and their three children aged 4,8, and 10, before committing suicide.

After searching the residence, officers found a note purporting to be written by the father. In the letter, he explained that he had forged a COVID-19 vaccine certificate for her wife to take to her employer.

Her employer, he wrote, had discovered the deception and threatened legal action. The couple feared being arrested and having their children taken away from them.

Police were alerted to the case on Saturday, when witnesses discovered the family's lifeless bodies inside their home in the Senzig district of Königs Wusterhausen, several kilometers southeast of Berlin.

All five family members had gunshot wounds, authorities said, and a firearm was discovered inside the house. However, they added, it appeared that neither the mother nor the father had a firearms license. 

es/msh (dpa, AFP)