Missing twins' father returned alone from Corsica: source

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The father of missing Swiss twins who travelled with his children to the island of Corsica returned alone to the French mainland, a source close to the police probe said Thursday.

Witnesses have come forward to say they saw twins Alessia and Livia on board a ferry between Marseille and Corsica with their father Matthias Schepp, who killed himself in southeastern Italy last week.

A three-country search for the children was launched after Schepp failed to return them to his estranged wife on January 30. He apparently returned alone to the French mainland on February 1, according to the source.

"He bought a ticket and was in all likelihood on board" a ferry from Bastia in Corsica to the French mainland port of Toulon, said the source, adding that Schepp had bought a ticket for his car and just one passenger.

Swiss news agency ATS, quoting the twins' uncle, said Thursday that Schepp had consulted websites about suicide, poisoning and firearms, shortly before his disappearance.

Swiss police said Thursday they had halted their ground search for the girls and were shifting the focus of their probe after witnesses confirmed the girls had been last seen in France.

© 2011 AFP

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