French police were on Sunday questioning a 48-year-old divorced Briton arrested on suspicion of slitting the throats of his two young children, judicial officials said.
The bodies of the two children aged five and 10 were discovered on Saturday afternoon in his apartment in Saint-Priest, a southeastern suburb of the central city of Lyon.
He was arrested and placed in custody in the evening. A judicial source said a knife which is thought to have been the murder weapon had been found.
The source said the man had visitation rights but only in the presence of another person, adding that this was the first time he brought the children home to his apartment.
Several witnesses said the man fled on roller skates after his former wife encountered him on the stairwell of the building and saw him with bloodstained clothes. She immediately alerted the police.
Ahmed Benguedda, a former neighbour of the couple, told AFP the couple had divorced “two or three years ago” and that the man had drinking problems and was a wife beater.
The wife moved out of the apartment after the divorce and was living in the Isere region of eastern France.
But the children were “well-balanced”, said Benguedda, whose seven-year-old daughter often played with them.