A man who jumped from the Vilvoorde viaduct in the early hours of this morning with his six-year-old daughter in his arms had been interviewed by police earlier in the week, it has emerged.
The man was separated from the child’s mother, and the two shared custody. On Monday this weak the mother called police and said she was worried he might do something to cause the child harm.
The man was picked up from his home in Willebroek and interviewed, but allowed to go when police could see no sign of danger. The prosecutor’s office in Antwerp, which covers Willebroek, ordered a social services report on the family.
On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, police received a call about a car abandoned on the viaduct, with a ladder beside it. Police attended and found the two bodies below, both dead.
The 35-year-old man was identified by his ID card, and the car proved to belong to his father. The child was identified as his daughter on the basis of photographs.
A scenes-of-crime team arrived, together with a medical examiner.
In the meantime police visited the addresses of the man’s father, the child’s mother and a previous partner with whom he had a 13-year-old daughter, to ensure there were no other victims.
An official murder investigation was opened for the child victim, naming the man himself and a possible accomplice. Police have not explained who that might be or how they may be involved.
A local canvass tried to find witnesses, and CCTV from the viaduct has been taken in an attempt to find out exactly what happened. A toxicology examination will be carried out on both bodies, to determine whether the child was still alive when her father went off the viaduct.
During the investigation that followed the discovery of the bodies, police found a note written by the man. No details have been revealed.