Sun, Jan 17, 2010 - Page 2 News List

MOFA to assist family in Spain

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH AFP

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said it would assist a Taiwanese woman and her three children who were found by police in Spain to be living with the dead bodies of the woman's husband and two other children for several days.

A report by Agence France-Presse (AFP) said that Spanish authorities on Wednesday found four members of a Taiwanese family that had been living for days with the decomposing bodies of three of their loved ones at their home in the Madrid suburb of San Martin de Valdeiglesias.

Police found the mother and three children in poor health and living in squalid conditions at the home, where the family had been residing since 2006.

Authorities were alerted by the children's school after they failed to turn up for class, reports said.

“We discovered a tragedy, but I'm sure that if police and the system for checking school absenteeism had not worked properly, then the rest of the family would also have died from hunger or filth,” the local mayor, Pedro Martin, was quoted by AFP as saying.

The bodies showed no signs of violence, and police ruled out foul play. The three may have died from some disease, they said.

MOFA said staffers from Taiwan's representative office in Spain had visited the mother and her three children in hospital.

All four appear to be in good health, the ministry said, adding that it had made contact with their family members in Taiwan.

MOFA deputy spokesman James Chang (章計平) said police was still investigating the cause of death of the father and two children.

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