A 49-year-old father and his three young children were found dead in their home in Sungai Petani yesterday, 20 November
According to a report by New Straits Times (NST), the man, who has been identified as S. Sivarau, was found hanged inside one of the rooms in the upper floor of his double-storey house in Perdana Heights, Amanjaya.
His three children - eight-year-old Yamunasri, five-year-old Sashvin Rau, and six-year-old Ragu Ram Rau - were found on a bed in the same room.
Kedah Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mior Farid Al Athrash Wahid suspects this is a case of murder-suicide.
Based on initial investigations, the authorities believe that Sivarau had suffocated his three children before hanging himself
"We did not find any physical injury on the children but only the post mortem examination can determine cause of death. Their bodies have been sent to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital for the process," explained Mior Farid.
The bodies were discovered by Sivarau's mother-in-law, S. Punita, at around 1.30pm yesterday.
Punita told the authorities that she last saw her son-in-law and grandchildren the night before for dinner, before they went upstairs to sleep at around 10pm. She was allegedly awaken by the cries of her granddaughter later that night, but she didn't suspect anything was amiss.
"I woke up at 8am today but did not see any of them, so when they failed to show up for lunch, I went up and knocked on their door.
"I opened the door to find their lifeless bodies and immediately notified my granddaughter's school teacher who later called the police," explained the 60-year-old.
Punita had just lost her daughter, Sivarau's wife about three weeks ago.
"It was too hard for me to accept it, I lost my daughter and now I lost my grandchildren and son-in-law," she said.
The police also spoke to Sivarau's 20-year-old son from his previous marriage, who said that he saw his father just three days ago. He said that his father told him he was depressed but had refused to reveal the cause.
"There was nothing unusual about him but I came to know that my three young siblings did not go to school since my stepmother died 20 days ago," he said.
Meanwhile, Mior Farid said initial investigations also show that Sivarau may have killed his children and himself due to financial difficulties.