A dad has reportedly slashed the throats of his two children visiting him for Christmas as they tried to flee before killing himself.
The shocking incident took place in a small house in the town of Trebaseleghe in the Italian region of Veneto.
Alessandro Pontin, 49, was separated from the children's mother, Roberta Calzarotto, 47, and it was his turn to have the children for Christmas.
Francesca, 15, and Pietro, 13, were reportedly asleep in their beds when their father allegedly attacked them.
The mum’s brother Claudio Calzarotto said the couple were constantly arguing over the $161 alimony that he was supposed to pay for both children.
He said he believes this was the reason the murders happened.
Initial reports said that they were killed as they slept, but it later turned out that they realised what was happening and tried to escape, but were caught and butchered.
The dad then left a suicide note before allegedly killing himself, but made no mention of the children.
The shocking deaths were discovered later by Pontin's brother.
He revealed that his brother had difficulty finding a settled job and although he had originally been a carpenter, he had tried to reinvent himself as a foot masseuse and then a holistic expert and Zen motivational expert.
When the mother was told of the children’s death, she collapsed and is currently being treated in hospital for shock.
“I used to pick them up from school every day because my daughter works. They used to eat with me and my wife. How can we live without them?” the children’s grandfather Aldo Cazzarotto said.
They added that their daughter often warned the police that her ex-partner was a dangerous man, but said nothing was ever done until it was too late.
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