Almost twelve hours later a tragedy that claimed the lives of four French residents in MontreuxSwiss researchers tried to understand why this family “visibly” thrown yesterday from the 7th floor of her building when the gendarmes had just knocked on the door.
Subject to formal identification still in process, the 40-year-old father, his 41-year-old wife, their twin sister and the couple’s 8-year-old daughter are the four people who died.
An unidentified fifth family member, a 15-year-old boy, was hospitalized in serious condition.
The reasons for this family tragedy, which occurred shortly after dawn, remain to be clarified. An investigation has been opened. At this stage, the presence of another person in the apartment at the time of the events could be excluded.
The gendarmes had gone there for a problem with the teenager’s schooling, according to the police.
“The gendarmes couldn’t get into the apartment. And obviously it was at that moment that this family made the decision to jump off the balcony from the seventh floor.”Vaud cantonal police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel told Swiss public radio RTS.
“It is the investigation that will determine – we hope – what prompted these people to take action”he then told AFP.
The gendarmes had come to execute “an order to bring” related to the home education of the child.
The mandate referred to the father, a Frenchman residing in this luxury neighborhood, flanked by palm trees characteristic of the city, located between a commercial artery and the shores of Lake Geneva.
A family not known for justice
When a child is educated at home, the school must carry out regular checks.
In the case of this family, “Since the parents did not respond to the various requests from the school authorities, the file was sent to the prefecture in which the police were asked to go look for the father to explain his son’s school situation”detailed the police spokesman.
The gendarmes knocked on the door and heard a voice asking who was there. Having announced themselves, the gendarmes heard no more noise from inside.
The procedure not justifying a forced opening of the house, they left the premises, but in the meantime, a witness called the police to report that people had fallen from the balcony of an apartment.
“As it stands, investigators aren’t ruling out any leads. We know we’re dealing with a fairly withdrawn family, who had little contact with the outside world, but we can’t say more as it stands.”said Jean-Christophe Sauterel.
This family resided in Switzerland. “for many years”she said, adding that she “was not fully known by the justice or the police outside of this procedure in relation to schooling”.
The bodies were found around 7 am at the foot of the building, located about 20 meters from Montreux’s famous Casino Barrière and Le Fouquet’s Restaurant.
In the afternoon, the police removed the last barriers of the place. Shortly after, a bouquet of white flowers in a vase was placed near a palm tree at the foot of the building, the scene of this quadruple death, an AFP journalist noted.
“It is too early to say exactly what happened and what was the role of the different people involved in this drama.”also indicated Christophe Sauterel.
According to the Tribune de Genève, the two sisters were doctors. The mother, a dentist, had practiced in the northwest of Paris. Her sister, an ophthalmologist trained in Paris and Nancy, was director of the university clinic of the Geneva university hospitals.
According to testimonies collected by the newspaper, the father worked at home, “obviously in business”.