Mother admits to killing kids in house fire

A woman has confessed to setting fire to her villa in Pau, a town in the Pyrenees region, following a blaze this week that killed her children, aged six years and five months.

The mother, under hospital care, told investigators that she “wanted to put an end to her life and to take her children with her,” La République des Pyrenées reported on its website on Friday.

The woman remains under guard at the hospital, where despite her mental and physical condition, she was able to respond to questions from officers, the newspaper reported.

She faces charges for the murder of minors.

An autopsy on the bodies was to have been conducted on Friday.

The fire occurred on Wednesday night and was reported by the children’s father as he returned from work.

Fire fighters had little difficulty dousing the flames but the children were burned to a crisp, according to media reports.

The mother was discovered prostate in a state of “amazement”, Pau prosecutor Jean-Christophe Muller told reporters.

A knife was found nearby making it appear that she had initially intended to kill herself after killing her children, he said.

The husband, a state of shock so severe that he had to be hospitalized, said that his wife had suffered for several years from “personality problems”.

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Partner finds body of missing British hiker close to border between France and Spain

The partner of a British hiker who went missing in the French Pyrenees last November has found her body, her family said on Tuesday, adding that an accident was "the most likely hypothesis".

Partner finds body of missing British hiker close to border between France and Spain
Illustration photo: Raymond Roig/AFP

Esther Dingley, 37, had been walking on her own in the mountain range, which straddles the border between France and Spain, but had not been heard from since sending a WhatsApp message on November 22nd.

Her partner Daniel Colegate, who raised the alarm over her whereabouts, found her body on Monday following a “relentless search”, according to a family statement released by charity LBT Global.

Colegate found Dingley’s body and equipment close to where a bone was found by a mountain runner two weeks ago.

A DNA test on the bone confirmed last month that it belonged to the hiker.

“At this stage an accident is the most likely hypothesis, given the location and other early indications,” the statement said.

“A full investigation is under way to confirm the details.”

Her family said they “remain incredibly grateful for the efforts of the police units involved and their commitment to understanding the exact circumstances of Esther’s death”.

Dingley had planned to make a loop around the Salvaguardia peak, which stands at 2,738 metres above sea level, between Spain and where her vehicle was parked, according to investigators.

The BBC reported she and Colegate, who were partners for 20 years, had travelled around Europe in a camper van after leaving northeast England in 2014.

Colegate was house-sitting at a Gascony vineyard while his girlfriend took their motor home on the journey to Spain.