Hope of finding missing Swiss twins alive has virtually disappeared after police confirmed that their father wrote a letter detailing plans to kill the six-year-old girls.
A big police search is underway in Corsica, Switzerland, mainland France and Italy.
Matthias Schepp wrote from Italy that Alessia and Livia were dead, and he was about to commit suicide.
Swiss police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel said: “I can indeed confirm that he announced he wanted to kill himself, and I can also confirm that in his letter, he says the girls did not suffer and that they are resting in peace.”
Police say Schepp left Lausanne in Switzerland at the end of January and took the girls on a ferry from Marseille in France that arrived in Corsica on February 1.
Authorities concentrated the search for the twins on the island in the belief that he was alone when he returned by ship to Toulon in France.
Schepp threw himself under a train at Cerignola in southern Italy.