The bodies of a man and his three children were discovered Tuesday by the man's parents who had come to visit him in his Nishi Ward apartment. The children, two 4 year-old twin boys and a 3 year-old girl, were all nursery school students. According to police, the four were laying on their futons and had no visible external injuries. In the room were charcoal cinders and a make-shift will scribbled on a piece of paper. Police believe the man forced the three children to commit suicide with him.
According to Hiroshima City officials, the man was receiving welfare for the three children.
Based on witness reports that the man and children had been seen in the neighborhood about a week before the incident and the state of the bodies, police believe the deaths occurred a few days prior to being discovered. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.
The three children lived together with their father, who was separated from his wife. The children had been absent from nursery school since mid-May.
The Hiroshima City child consultation office reports that the man had called them at the end of January and admitted he was having difficulty taking care of the three children. The office recommended he temporarily give the children up, but the man refused. From that time, a child welfare office contacted the family once per month, and when an officer visited the home at the end of May, the children appeared to be healthy and the man in high spirits.© News reports