JAKARTA, INDONESIA: An Indonesian father who was found with his four deceased children in their rented residence in Jagakarsa, South Jakarta is now a suspect for the murder of the four children.
Authorities confirmed the confession of Panca Darmawangsa, a 40-year-old father, who admitted to suffocating his four biological children, aged 6, 4, 3, and 1—two girls and two boys.
The four children were discovered lifeless on 6 December, arranged in a row on a mattress in their rented house’s bedroom, alongside their father, who was found in the bathroom with severe knife wounds but miraculously alive.
The injuries observed on Panca suggested a potential suicide attempt.
The bodies of the father and children were uncovered by the head of the local neighbourhood association following a report of a strong odour emanating from the victims’ residence.
It is said that the children were killed on 3 December at Panca’s rented residence, between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM Western Indonesian Time, where they were deliberately killed within an hour.
During the incident, Panca’s wife was hospitalized due to injuries resulting from domestic violence inflicted by him.
Despite reports made by Panca’s in-laws to the police about the violence, Panca cited childcare duties as reasons for not attending the summons.
In an interview with local media, Adjunct Police Commissioner Bintoro, Head of the South Jakarta Police Criminal Investigation Unit, announced Panca’s upcoming psychiatric evaluation within the next 14 days.
This evaluation aims to establish Panca’s involvement and motive in the tragic incident of killing his children.
Bintoro stated, “The perpetrator confessed to individually smothering each child, starting with the youngest, with a 15-minute interval for each victim.”
Additionally, law enforcement recovered a laptop and cell phone from the crime scene, containing footage capturing the events leading up to and during Panca’s heinous act.
Furthermore, investigations into these devices revealed a distressing video showcasing Panca’s mistreatment of his wife.
Mother bids tearful farewell at children’s funeral
On Sunday (10 Dec), at 16:44 local time, the four children were laid to rest.
Devnisa Putri, the mother, attended the funeral, her hand still bandaged, tearfully embracing a doll as she bid a heartbreaking farewell to her child.
“The police granted her wish to attend the funeral after assessing both her physical and mental readiness,” stated Bintoro, addressing reporters at the burial site, TPU Perigi in Sawangan, West Java.
He noted her signs of physical recovery following the assault by her husband.
She was subsequently able to provide investigators with an interview regarding the case.
Panca faces severe legal consequences, including life imprisonment or the death penalty, under Articles 338 and 340 of the Criminal Code for premeditated murder and violations of the Child Protection Law.
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