LYON, France, May 20 (UPI) -- French police said a British man involved in a custody dispute with his ex-wife admitted slashing the throats of his two young children.
Julian Stevenson, 48, allegedly attacked and killed his two children, Matthew, 10, and Carla, 5, during what police said was his first visit with the children since a custody dispute arose out of allegations he had attacked his wife, leading to their divorce.
Neighbors said the three were seen walking around Lyon, France, where the family had previously lived. They stayed at Stevenson's apartment in suburban Lyon and neighbors said Saturday they appeared happy and content walking around town, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said Monday.
When the children's mother, Stephanie, arrived to pick them up Sunday afternoon she found Stephenson distraught in a stairwell, covered in blood, police said. As she rushed to the children, Stephenson fled on a pair of roller skates. He was found after a brief manhunt and police said he's admitted to killing his children.
Based on his preliminary statements police have declined to charge him with the more serious charge of premeditated murder after a court appearance Monday afternoon and instead the court placed him under formal investigation for voluntary homicide of minors, the British newspaper The Independent reported.