> ANSA English > News

Shock after father kills two children and attempts suicide

Witnesses say he was depressed, poor, separating from wife

12 February, 11:57
Shock after father kills two children and attempts suicide (ANSA) - Giussano, February 12 - A 37-year-old father in a town north of Milan killed his two children and then attempted suicide late Tuesday, investigators said.

According to a preliminary reconstruction of events, Michele Graziano slit the throats of his 8-year-old daughter and his nearly 2-year-old son in their home in an abandoned apartment above a wine bar in the town of Giussano. He then called his brother, who alerted emergency workers that then arrived immediately at the scene. The father also attempted suicide, but was taken to a hospital. His condition is not life-threatening. Witnesses say Graziano worked as a cashier at the Esselunga supermarket chain, was depressed and had attempted suicide before. They also reported his home was without electricity. His children were from two separate relationships.

Witnesses also said he was in the process of moving after breaking up with his second, much younger wife.

"He separated a little before Christmas without great trauma, if not the classic problems that come about between husband and wife in the separation phase," the lawyer who helped Graziano with the separation proceedings said. "He was worried that he could not give his children everything necessary. He had a hard time paying for food, but nothing more. Also the two mothers of the children are absolutely normal women, nothing to say," the lawyer added.

Both women have been informed of the tragedy. Graziano faces charges of double murder.