Arrest warrant issued for man suspected of killing wife and three kids in Bavaria

After the bodies of a woman and her three kids were found in their apartment, Bavarian prosecutors announced on Wednesday that an arrest warrant on four counts of murder had been issued for the family’s father.

Arrest warrant issued for man suspected of killing wife and three kids in Bavaria
Outside the scene of the crime in Gunzenhausen. Photo: DPA

The 31-year-old father is suspected of stabbing his 29-year-old wife, three-year-old daughter and seven- and nine-year-old sons on Tuesday in the town of Gunzenhausen.

An autopsy of the bodies revealed that they were fatally wounded with a knife.

After the crime, the man jumped or fell from the balcony of the third-floor apartment and was seriously injured. He was taken to hospital and underwent emergency surgery; he could not be initially interrogated.

The 29-year-old woman had wanted to separate from her husband because he abused the children, according to the police. On June 21st, the man’s key to the family’s flat was confiscated and he was banned from going near them after a witness told authorities that he had beaten up his sons.

On Monday, the day before the crime, the woman reported the man to the police. One day later, the suspect is believed to have returned to the home of his wife and children, telling them he urgently needed to pick up clothes.

The brother of the 29-year-old woman discovered the man as well as the bodies of the four family members on Tuesday.

The brother told police that when he entered the apartment that morning, he saw his brother-in-law standing there with bloody hands holding a large kitchen knife. The suspect then allegedly ran toward the balcony.

The family is said to be of Russian descent.

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Strikes: Do parents in Germany receive a day off work when Kitas close?

When Kitas (daycare centres) close for a few days during a strike, working parents suddenly face a problem. What happens if no other childcare is available? Does the employer then have to allow paid leave?

Strikes: Do parents in Germany receive a day off work when Kitas close?

Over the past few weeks, public sector employees have been going on strike all around Germany in an ongoing battle for higher wages.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why are there so many strikes around Germany right now?

Kitas have been among the places most affected, with many working parents suddenly finding themselves – often on sudden notice – without childcare.

Can moms and dads also clock off their jobs to tend to their children, and can they still claim their normal wages if so?

We break down what you need to know.

Work is not possible due to caring for my child during the Kita strike. Do I still get paid?

Parents only have the right to continued payment of wages if the strike was announced at short notice, according to section 616 of the German Civil Code. 

‘Short notice’ usually means that the announcement was made within 24 hours before the Kita closed or, in the case of a strike on Monday, over the weekend.

However, there are many gray areas that have to be clarified in case of doubt. Talk to your employer to figure out a solution before it becomes an issue. In many cases, timely communication – even when a strike is still a looming possibility, as with a potential countrywide ‘mega-strike’ on Monday, March 27th – can prevent problems from arising later.

In 2023, each parent is also entitled to 30 paid sick days per child, or 60 for both parents, or one single parent. However, since parents receive the money from their health insurance, equaling 90 percent of their normal salary, it’s best to save these for documented cases of illness.

How should people report to their employer if they cannot come to work?

Anyone absent from work without an excuse risks a warning from their employer, especially in some German companies especially keen on adhering to a contractual set of rules. For example, some companies require that workers announce they can’t come to work through a phone call, in addition to email.

Workers should make sure they communicate clearly if – and why – they can’t show up at the job, and in a way that can be documented later. That means that email is usually the best approach rather than, say, shooting off quick WhatsApp message or having a colleague give your boss a head’s up you won’t be making it to the office.

READ ALSO: New fathers in Germany to receive paid paternity leave ‘starting in 2024

Children in a Kita

Children work on a drawing together in a Kita. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Stiftung Haus der kleinen Forscher | Christoph Wehrer

Can the employer refuse leave?

Yes, a request not to work can be initially turned down important operational reasons. However, if parents have demonstrably exhausted all their options to find alternative childcare and have still been unsuccessful, leave (even if unpaid in the case of strikes announced outside of the the 24 hour window) must be granted. 

Legally, the priority is to ensure the care of young children. In other words Aufsichtspflicht (duty of supervision of one’s children) always trumps Arbeitspflicht (duty to work).

Are children simply allowed to be taken to work?

The short answer is no, at least without explicit permission from an employer. Their well-being also can’t be endangered in a workplace.

Do parents get fees back during a Kita strike?

At least in the case of a short warning strike, it is difficult for parents to get Kita fees refunded. 

However, parents can still ask the Kita’s Träger (operator) about the possibilities and look at the contract, as there may be a clause about when and how to seek out a refund.

The contract may just state that fees can be waived or refunded, at least in the case of a strike lasting several days or even weeks.

READ ALSO: More money and less bureaucracy: How Germany wants to change its child benefits system