The wife of former Italian rugby international Andrea Benatti has been arrested after allegedly murdering the couple’s two small children.
Antonella Barbieri, 39, reportedly killed their two-year-old daughter and five-year-old son before attempting to take her own life.
The tragic events were reported to have begun at the family home in Suzzara in the northern Italian region of Lombardia.
Allegations: Antonella Barbieri, 39, wife of rugby player Andrea Benatti, 38 reportedly killed their daughter, two, and son, five, before attempting to take her own life
Murdered: Kim, aged two, was found to have been smothered to death with a pillow
For reasons yet unknown, Barbieri is alleged to have smothered the couple’s two-year-old daughter Kim to death with a pillow.
She is said to have then got in her car and taken her son, Lorenzo Zeus, five, with her.
Italian media reports that she then stabbed her son to death with a kitchen knife.
Barbieri then stabbed herself in the stomach, in what is said t have been an attempted suicide.
A passer-by spotted the car and called emergency services after finding Barbieri with the knife stuck in her stomach.
Tragedy: Barbieri is said to have then got in her car and taken Lorenzo Zeus, five, on a drive before stabbing him to death with a kitchen knife
Dark side: Barbieri, pictured with her husband on their wedding day, is currently in serious condition in hospital where she is said to have attempted to refuse treatment
Benatti, pictured left with his wife and right in his Italy kit, played rugby union for Italy, as well as Italian side Aironi, before retiring in 2011 with eye problems
Barbieri, who is reportedly known to suffer from psychological problems, was admitted to the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in the city of Reggio Emilia in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
She is currently in serious condition in hospital and is expected to be charged once she is stable.
Barbieri reportedly tried to refuse treatment and told doctors: ‘I did something bad, I want to die.’
Her husband played rugby union for Italy as well as Italian side Aironi, before retiring in 2011 with eye problems.
Italian media reported that he was working at the family business when he heard what had happened.