THE REGIONAL police in Catalonia believe that a man who was found dead along with his two children in his Barcelona apartment on Monday may have killed them on purpose with gas before taking his own life. 

The tragedy unfolded on Monday, when the mother of the children and the man’s ex-partner turned up at the apartment, after they had spent the holiday season with their father. 

They did not return to school on Monday as planned, prompting the woman to go to the apartment in the Horta de Barcelona neighbourhood to try to locate them. 

Once there, she notified the fire department that there was a strong smell of gas in the ground floor of the apartment block, according to a report in Spanish daily El Pais

Mossos car
The Mossos d’Esquadra believe the man killed his children before taking his own life. Credit: Cordon Press

The emergency services, who entered through a window, then made the grisly discovery that the children, aged 10 and seven, and the father, were all dead in the apartment. There was, the police said, a strong smell of gas inside, ‘similar to carbon monoxide’. 

The case will now be investigated by a Barcelona court and the details will remain under seal for now. 

But if the theory of the Mossos d’Esquadra, as the regional police are known, is found to be correct, this would be the latest case of violencia vicaria, an expression in Spanish to classify a type of gender violence where a parent takes the life of their children in order to do the greatest possible damage to their partner or ex-partner. 

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