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Police inquiry demanded over missing children

A mother should face charges of manslaughter following the presumed accidental drowning of her daughter and another child, according to an investigating magistrate.

This content was published on July 20, 2009 - 15:03

An 11-year-old girl and a six-month old boy have been missing since Friday and are believed to have been swept away by a swollen stream while walking home near the village of Wolfenschiessen in canton Nidwalden, central Switzerland.

The alarm was raised when the boy's four-year-old sister turned up at a nearby home in wet clothes that night.

The children had spent the day in Lucerne under the supervision of the 11-year-old's mother and were put on a train home on their own at around 7pm. The mother did not report their disappearance until just after midnight.

Investigating magistrate Alexandre Vonwil said the mother should face charges of manslaughter and violation of the duty to care and educate.

The search for the children continued at daybreak on Monday, with members of the Swiss Alpine Club and a canoeing club aiding police.

Switzerland was hit by a deluge of rain on Friday and Saturday, causing water levels to rise in some areas.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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