Two people accused of being the
accomplices of Giovanni Barreca, a 54-year-old bricklayer who
has confessed to murdering his wife and two sons aged five and
15 in the town of Altavilla Milicia, near Palermo, are religious
fanatics, sources said on Monday.
The alleged accomplices, Sabrina Fina and Massimo Carandente, were arrested after Barreca called the Carabinieri police during the night between Saturday and Sunday following the killings.
It is suspected that the couple from Palermo may have encouraged Barreca to kill his family to liberate the house from 'demons', as well as participating in the massacre.
Barreca also told prosecutors that he wanted to free the victims of "demons", sources said.
The three suspects are thought to have met during prayer encounters at an evangelical church.
A third child, a 17-year-old girl, survived the slaughter and is in a state of shock, according to the sources.
She told investigators that the family was killed during an "exorcism", the sources said.
The Carabinieri found the bodies of the two children, who were probably strangled, inside the family home.
One of the corpses was in chains.
The charred remains of the wife were found buried nearby.
According to initial analysis, the children were murdered on Friday and their mother was killed several days before that.
The police managed to track down the alleged accomplices by analysing Barreca's phone and thanks to the testimony of some local people, the sources said.
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