A factory worker was found hanged in his house in Kampung Parit Kasa here, with his two children lying dead nearby.
Shaari Hamid, 34, believed to be in the midst of a divorce, was found hanged from a wooden beam with the bodies of Muhammad Shamir, four, and one-year-old Nor Ameelia Shafiqahin lying on a mattress in their bedroom.
South Seberang Prai OCPD Supt Shafien Mamat said the case was being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder and suicide.
Shaari's wife Norhanizah Ahmad being escorted by a policewoman at the Sungai Bakap Hospital mortuary in Nibong Tebal Wednesday.
He said police received a call from a relative at 12.45pm.
“Early investigations show that they had been dead for more than seven hours before the police were called,” he said when met at the scene.
Supt Shafien said the post-mortem results showed that there were traces of poison in the children’s bodies.
“We are not sure if they consumed the poison through a drink or food but there was poison in their bodies,” he said.
Earlier, policemen were seen removing bottles of weedkiller from the compound of the house.
“Police are looking into several possibilities on how the children died. We also found some documents which would help with the investigation,” Supt Shafien said, but declined to say whether it was a suicide note.
It is understood that Shaari’s elder sister, who lives next door, had gone over to his house in the morning to wake him up for work when she found him dead.
The grieving sister did not want to talk to the press.
A family friend, Abdullah Hashim, 46, said he could not believe that Shaari, who was a doting father, would kill his children.
“He loved his children. He was having problems with his wife and they have been separated for the past six or seven months.
“He did not want a divorce as he was worried about the children. Just the day before, he attended marriage counselling at the Religious Department with his wife,” he said, adding that the couple had taken turns to care for the children since their separation.
Abdullah added that Shaari was very sad over the separation and would always call him to pour out his woes and ask for advice.
At the Sungai Bakap Hospital mortuary, Shaari’s wife could not stop sobbing over the fate of her two young children.
Norhanizah Ahmad, 27, was earlier seen at the house before proceeding to the mortuary.
“I received a call from a relative at 2pm yesterday who told me about the deaths. Shaari picked up the children from my mother’s house yesterday at around 11pm.
“He seemed normal and I did not notice anything amiss,” she said between sobs.
Norhanizah is currently staying with her mother in Titi Serong, Parit Buntar, Perak.
Marital problems said to be cause of murder, suicide
Police consider the murder-cum-suicide of a father and his two children here solved with marital problems being the probable cause for the case.
South Seberang Prai OCPD Supt Shafien Mamat said Shaari Hamid, 34, fed poison to his two children - Muhammad Shamir, four and one-year-old Nor Ameelia Shafiqah - before hanging himself at his house in Kampung Parit Kasa.
Supt Shafien said Shaari and his wife, Norhanizah Ahmad, 27, who are living separately, had been attending marriage counselling at the Religious Department's district office but they missed their appointment the day before his death.
He said the poisons found in the house and the blood and stomach contents of the children had been sent to the laboratory to determine the type of poison.
“The results are expected in a month,” he added.
Supt Shafien said police could not determine if the poison was slipped into the children’s milk bottle but it is believed that the father laced a drink with poison.
“Police have seized a milk bottle and glasses to help with investigations,” he said.
When asked if a suicide note was found at the scene, Supt Shafien replied that the police found documents that helped in the investigation of the case.
He said police had recorded the statements of Norhanizah and close relatives to help with the investigation.
Earlier in the morning, Shaari's family members were seen holding tahlil prayers at his house.
They declined to speak to reporters.