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Crime of passion enacted at Chaplin home in Switzerland

Chaplin home

(Keystone)

The bodies of a couple found in the grounds of Charlie Chaplin's family house in Switzerland are thought to have died in a crime of passion. The investigating magistrate said he believed the man had killed his wife, before committing suicide.

The decomposing remains of the couple were discovered last Friday evening, after a gardener noticed an unpleasant smell in the grounds of the Chaplin home in Corsier-sur-Vevey, near Lake Geneva.

He alerted Michael Chaplin, son of the late silent film actor. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered the bodies of a young couple, who had been dead for some weeks. Their remains were found about 800 metres from the house, in a secluded area surrounded by trees.

The exact causes of death have not yet been disclosed, but the investigating magistrate said he believed the couple died in a crime of passion. Earlier reports said the woman, who was 24 years old, had been decapitated by her husband, 23, who then hanged himself from a tree.

Little is known about the couple except that they were from Moldavia, and had recently found work in Switzerland.

Charlie Chaplin lived in Corsier from 1953 until his death in 1977. His home is a major tourist attraction, housing the Chaplin archive, which contains thousands of photographs and films. A statue of the film star, wearing his trademark top hat and tails, stands looking out over Lake Geneva at the waterfront in Vevey.

swissinfo with agencies

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