A man who killed his wife and four children in Saudi Arabia handed himself to the police and confessed to their murder and that he attempted suicide, Saudi media reported on Thursday.
The multiple murder case occurred in Sharurah, a small town in the southern part of the kingdom near Najran.
Najran Governor Prince Mesha’al bin Abdullah called for the prompt completion of the investigation to understand the motives behind the murders, local media reported.
The Sharurah police chief testimony clears up some of the details relating to the tragedy.
It said that the man slaughtered his wife first then his three boys and one girl before 12 noon and handed himself over to the police at about 10 p.m.
“When I asked him about the motives for the crimes, he said that he did not want them to suffer from poverty or need,” the police chief said.
“When we went to his home, we found the wife in a pool of blood in the kitchen…When we moved to the room, we found the bodies of the four children who had been slaughtered as well.”
The eldest of the children is said to be 11 years old and the youngest 2 years old
Media reports pointed out that the perpetrator, Saleh, was not a Saudi citizen and that he was a “bidoon” (stateless person) who had applied for Saudi citizenship.
According to Saudi Arabian- based newspaper Sabq, the man claimed that he had killed his wife and four children to “make sure they did not live through difficult conditions, particularly as he was a stateless person.”
Saleh was originally from the Hadramout governorate in the eastern part of Yemen and moved with his father to Saudi Arabia around 30 years ago, Gulf News reported.
Reports in Saudi media differ over the mental state of the man, with some quoting relatives saying that he had diminished mental capacity.