Police in Switzerland, France and Italy are desperately searching for 6-year-old twin girls after their Canadian-born father, who allegedly abducted them from their mother last week, committed suicide late Thursday night.
The body of Matthias Schepp, an engineer in his 40s from St. Sulpice, Switzerland, was found under a train in Cerignola, Italy.
The girls, Alessia and Livia, remain missing.
“We’re still trying to find (the girls). We have no information on where they might be,” Jean-Christophe Sauterel, spokesman for Swiss police in Vaud, told the Star.
At least 30 police officers in Switzerland are involved in the search and two inspectors had arrived in Italy, the Swiss news agency ATS reported.
Police dogs and officers on horseback were mobilized to scour the area around the train station in their search for the twins.
Swiss police said Saturday that although Schepp was born in Canada, he left the country only a few weeks later and neither he, nor his wife or daughters, hold citizenship.
“Apart from being born in Canada,” he has no connection to the country, Sauterel said.
Police allege Schepp took his daughters from their mother’s home in Switzerland without her permission.
Reports in Italian and Swiss media say the girls’ mother, Irina Lucidi Schepp, split from her husband in August and the couple were going through a divorce.
Schepp sent a postcard from Marseille, France, on Jan. 31, saying he was desperate and could not live without his estranged wife. But he did not mention the girls. Swiss police allege he drew a large sum of money from a bank machine in Marseille.
Reached at home in Switzerland, the girls’ maternal grandmother said the family was not speaking to the press.
“You understand, we are in a great pain. We don’t know where they are.”