The estranged father of two died in a hospital from burn injuries on Sunday night after apparently setting fire to his car, where the charred bodies of the young girls were found, cantonal police said.
Police were contacted at around 3pm by the children’s mother who reported that her husband, with whom she was mo longer living, had taken the kids from a family relative without permission.
He fled with the children in his car, police said.
Police immediately launched a manhunt before receiving a message about a burning car in a forest clearing in Simmenbödeli in the municipality of Grabs at around 3.30pm.
Officers found the bodies of the children in the burnt-out wreck of the car.
Police have not yet determined exactly how they died but investigators have ruled out an accident.
The children’s father was found a few hundred metres away suffering from serious burns.
He was flown in a helicopter by emergency rescue services to a hospital where he later died.
“We assume that the man burned the car,” police spokesman Peter Krüsi told Blick.ch on Monday.
Forensic investigators are looking into the exact circumstances of the children’s deaths.
Their father was known to police, not due to a domestic dispute but because he was facing charges in an ongoing trial, said Krüsi, without giving further details.
The children’s mother is receiving psychological counselling.