12 Feb 2011

Dead man's letter says he killed his daughters

9:46 am on 12 February 2011

Swiss police say the father of missing twin girls from Switzerland wrote a letter saying that he had killed his daughters before he killed himself.

Police say the letter was dated 3 February, the day Matthias Schepp, 43, threw himself under a train in Italy.

The BBC reports he and the girls, aged six, were last seen on a ferry from mainland France to Corsica on 31 January, but there has been no trace of the girls since.

Schepp failed to return them to his estranged wife.

The girls' mother, Irina Lucidi, reported Alessia and Livia missing on 30 January.

Swiss police said that Schepp sent eight letters from Bari, Italy, to his wife in Switzerland, the first seven containing a total of 4400 euros ($US6000).

Schepp was looking after the girls for the weekend, but failed to return them to their home in St Sulpice, Switzerland.

He picked up the girls on 28 January, before travelling to France and Italy. He was found dead in Cerignola, in the region of Puglia.

He was spotted with the girls on an overnight ferry from Marseille to the island of Corsica, arriving on 1 February. The BBC reports it is not known if he had theM with him when he arrived.

Police have said Schepp was on his own when he sailed to the port city of Toulon in France the same day.