Drama in Montreux: what we know about the French family who fell from a balcony

Four members of the same family died last Thursday in Montreux, Switzerland, after jumping from the 7th floor of their building. A drama still mysterious, in particular because of the profile of the victims.

How to explain the fall of five members of the same family from the 7th floor of his building? The answer to this question is still very mysterious four days after the death of four French people in Montreux, Switzerland, who fell from their balcony. A fifth person, a 15-year-old boy, survived. He was still this weekend in a “very serious” condition.

· What happened last Thursday?

Thursday, March 24 in the morning, the gendarmes of the canton of Vaud go to the family home in a chic residence located rue du Casino in Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva. They then come to execute an arrest warrant issued by the prefecture in connection with the home schooling of a child, the 15-year-old teenager. The officers knock on the door, hear voices asking them to introduce themselves. They are done then calm returns to the apartment.

In the absence of an answer, the gendarmes leave. In the meantime, the police are called to the scene: five people have just fallen from the balcony located on the 7th floor of the building. The track of collective suicide is immediately considered, the possibility of the presence of another person in the apartment having been excluded.

· Who is the family that fell from the balcony?

The four victims are the father, his wife, her twin sister and the couple’s 8-year-old granddaughter. The family had been living in Montreux since 2014. The 40-year-old man graduated from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique, according to his Linkedin profile. With a scientific background, he held several positions in various French ministries, notably at Bercy and the Quai d’Orsay. He had joined a Swiss company before setting up on his own.

His wife and her twin sister also had a brilliant career. Granddaughters of the Algerian writer Mouloud Feraoun, assassinated by the OAS, the Organization of the secret army, according to The Sunday Journal, the first was a dentist. She had practiced in Switzerland for a while before his license to practice is withdrawn.

Her twin sister was a brilliant ophthalmologist. Trained at the ENS, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she still worked in Sion eye clinicabout sixty kilometers from Montreux.

The couple had two children, an 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy. The latter was home-schooled, which implies control by the Swiss authorities. The father had not followed up, giving rise to the arrest warrant issued by the prefecture, which the gendarmes came to execute last Thursday. The little girl was not registered in any administrative register.

· The track of a conspiratorial drift?

The various testimonies collected show a discreet family, withdrawn, but otherwise always cordial. According to neighbors, the family often walked along Lake Geneva, the two sisters decked out in old outfits and in particular a long green cape, the father always in shorts, whatever the season.

On the door of their apartment hangs a piece of wood on which is inscribed the words “Jesus is the reason for the season”, the title of an evangelical Christian pop-rock song.

The track of a survivalist conspiratorial drift is studied while many boxes were stored in the apartment transformed into a real bunker, according to the Swiss newspaper The weather. Many parcels, in this apartment with caulked windows, containing in particular medicines and cans.

· How is the survey conducted in Switzerland?

Deliberate choice of the five people to jump into the void or injunction of one of the members of this family to push the others to suicide? The Swiss police are trying to find out the motive for the possible desperate gesture of this family. Cell phones are scanned. Hearings will also be conducted, in particular those of the relatives of the victims.

According to The JDD, the two sisters had cut ties with their family. The twin sister was separated from her husband, a Frenchman living in Lausanne. Since then, she has been living with her twin, according to several Swiss media.

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