Walloon double infanticide: mother charged with murder

Walloon double infanticide: mother charged with murder
Home in the Walloon town of Hantes-Wihéries where 37-year-old woman killed two of her children. A third child, who she stabbed, survived. © Belga

A Walloon woman who killed two of her children and attempted to kill a third before trying to commit suicide will be charged with murder, prosecutors confirmed.

Charleroi's public prosecutor's office said an arrest warrant had been issued against the woman, identified as Julie L., and that she was facing murder and attempted murder charges.

The 37-year-old woman was hospitalised in a critical condition on Tuesday after emergency workers were alerted of the "tragic" family drama.

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The mayor of the town of Hantes-Wihéries said that the woman, a local teacher in the town of some 700 inhabitants, had drowned her 2-year-old child and stabbed her other children, aged 5 and 9, in the neck.

Officials said the woman also attempted to take her own life by overdosing on pills and reportedly slitting her wrists.

The 9-year-old was still alive when first respondents arrived at the scene. He was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition and has since stabilised.

The woman admitted to having stabbed her oldest children before drowning her youngest and said that she had wanted to end her life "but not abandon her children."

The town mayor said that the woman had had to go through an abortion for medical reasons in the middle of the lockdown, which he also said weighed heavy on her.

The 37-year-old will be brought before the Charleroi council chamber on Monday, ahead of a possible referral to a criminal court.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

Anyone having thoughts about suicide can get help by contacting the Suicide Line on the number 1813 or by going to www.zelfmoord1813.be, or the Suicide Prevention Center at 0800 32 123 or at www.preventionsuicide.be

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