The relative of a French family of four who have been missing since mid-February has allegedly admitted to killing them. The brother-in-law of a French advertising executive who has been missing along with his wife and two children for two weeks confessed today, local media has reported.
Identified as Hubert C, the 46-year-old said he slaughtered the Troadec family in their detached home in Nantes, western France, during an inheritance row over gold bars.He is believed to have battered them to death with a blunt object, and then tried to cover up the evidence.
Those killed were Pascal and Brigitte Troadec, both 50, their son Sebastien, 21, and daughter Charlotte, 18.
All were last seen on February 16, before their mobile phones went dead and all activity in their bank accounts stopped.
Hubert C was taken into custody on Sunday along with Lydie Troadec - Hubert C's ex-wife and Pascal’s sister.
"The male suspect has admitted killing the entire family in an argument over inheritance," said a source close to the case. "He remains in custody and faces trial for the murders."
An investigation into murder, abduction and illegal confinement was opened last Monday after the authorities were alerted to the disappearance.
Initial suspicion fell on the son, Sebastien, as he was suspected of "formulating a macabre plan aimed at snuffing out members of his family and maybe himself".
Sebastien had psychological problems, and in the past had been convicted of making death threats on his blog.
Bloodstains were found at the Troadec home in Orvault, including on Sebastien’s abandoned smart phone, and his abandoned car was later found more than 100 miles away.
Nantes prosecutor Pierre Sennes said toothbrushes and hairbrushes had all been removed from the house, and the beds had been stripped.
"Food was going off in the fridge and there were dishes in the sink," Mr Sennes said. "It was as if the life of the house had been frozen in time."