The deaths of five children in the city of Solingen, Germany, has generated international attention because of the murder suspect: their own mother. Police say a 27-year-old woman used a combination of sedation and suffocation to kill her three girls ages 1, 2, and 3, and two boys ages 6 and 8, reports the Guardian. She sent another child, the eldest at 11, away to spend the day with his grandmother, the woman's mother. The woman then attempted suicide by stepping in front a train, though she survived with serious but not life-threatening injuries, say police, per the BBC.
The murders have shocked the nation, and local candidates in a regional election put their campaigns on hold Friday out of respect. Police are still investigating, but they cite the breakup of the woman's marriage with the father of her four youngest children. "About the motive, we can only speculate that the underlying reason emerged from the broken marriage," says the lead investigator. "The couple had lived separately for a year." It was the grandmother who alerted police that something appeared to be wrong. She said her daughter sent her a message saying she "couldn't go on." (Read more Germany stories.)