Mother who ‘killed five of her six children by drugging their breakfast and smothering them with a towel after her ex-husband got a new girlfriend’ goes on trial at the district court of Wuppertal in western Germany
Prosecutors allege she fed the children, aged one to eight, drugs before killing at an apartment building in Solingen, 20 miles from Cologne in the west of Germany
Cops found the bodies of Melina, one, Leonie, two, Sophie, three, Timo, six, and Luca, eight, after they were alerted by the suspect’s mother
Her eldest son Marcel, 11, survived because he was away in school, and he is now in the custody of his relatives
Christiane K, 28, is charged with ‘malicious murder’ following death of children
Defendant denies murder and claims masked intruder is instead responsible
Just before the murders the suspect had a row with her estranged husband about his new girlfriend – The man was Christiane’s third husband, and the father of four of the six children
Christiane K. faces a life sentence if found guilty of the murders
A German mother is on trial, accused of killing five of her six children by drugging their breakfast and smothering them after a row with her ex-husband has appeared in court.
Christiane K, 28, is accused of murdering five of her children, aged between one and eight, after feeding them ‘high doses’ of drugs in Solingen on September 3, last year. She murdered the children before attempting to take her own life at a train station in nearby Düsseldorf.
The children’s grandmother, who lives 37 miles away in the city of Mönchengladbach, had alerted the emergency services, requesting a welfare check.
Christiane K. made her appearance Wednesday at the District Court in Wuppertal, Germany, though the mother-of-six did not speak and is not expected to testify in her trial.
She is accused of killing the children because her ex-husband had found a new lover.
The defendant fed her children – three girls and two boys – a cocktail of three drugs and ‘deliberately brought them into a state of twilight’ so they would be more docile, the court heard.
Christiane then took the children into the bathroom one-by-one and drowned or smothered them in the bath, prosecutors claim. The mother-of-six, who faces a life sentence if found guilty of the murders, alleges the children were instead killed by a masked intruder.
The bodies of Christiane’s three daughters aged one, two and three, and two sons aged six and eight were discovered in the family flat in in North Rhine-Westphalia on September 3.
They were found lying on their beds, each wrapped in a towel. Prosecutors believe the mother mixed medication into the children’s breakfast drinks to make them sleepy, before killing them in the bath.
She then attempted suicide by throwing herself in front of a train at Dusseldorf Central Station, but she was rescued and did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
The bodies were discovered at an apartment building in Solingen, 20 miles from Cologne in the west of Germany
Her oldest child, 11-year-old Marcel, survived the grim ordeal. She then took him on a train journey before she got off at Dusseldorf and threw herself on the tracks, reports say.
The 11-year-old was left on the train and continued to Mönchengladbach where his grandmother lived. Christiane’s mother called in the killings.
Christiane has maintained her innocence and says a masked man entered the flat and killed the children.
According to prosecutors, investigators have found no evidence to support that claim.
The motive for the killings remains unclear but prosecutor Heribert Kaune-Gebhardt said the suspect had shortly before had a row with her estranged husband about his new girlfriend.
The man, Christiane’s third husband, is the father of four of the six children.
Prosecutors have charged Christiane with ‘malicious murder’, saying she took advantage of the children’s innocence and defenselessness.
The family was known to social services but local authorities said there had been no indication at the time the children were in danger.
Last year, German police alleged Christiane was suspected of carrying out the murders as she was feeling ’emotionally overwhelmed.’
Police found the bodies of Melina, one, Leonie, two, Sophie, three, Timo, six, and Luca, eight, after they were alerted by the suspect’s mother who had learnt of her grandchildren’s fate directly from her surviving grandson.
‘We were informed shortly before 2pm that five children had died and this has unfortunately been confirmed,’ police spokesman Stefan Weiand said.
Their mother was not at the apartment when they arrived at the scene, they said. Rescuers themselves were said to be traumatized by what they found in the building, and also shocked by the state of the apartment.
One report said that rescuers had tried to resuscitate the children but arrived too late to save their lives.
The murders shook Solingen, a city of 160,000 people around 20 miles from Dusseldorf and Cologne. The city’s mayor Tim Kurzbach, said: ‘I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news that five dead children have been found in our city.’
‘The family tragedy in Solingen fills me with great sadness and at the moment my thoughts and prayers are with the five small children whose lives were snatched from them so terribly early,’ said Herbert Reul, interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.