On the 28th of January in 2011, Matthias Schepp, a Canadian-born Swiss engineer, collected his twin daughters, Livia and Alessia Schepp, aged 6, from their hometown of Saint-Sulpice, Switzerland. His intention was to return them to their mother’s house on Sunday, the 30th of January, after two days.
Matthias and his estranged wife, Irina Lucidi, an Italian lawyer, had gone through a bitter separation after being together for six years. Despite the acrimonious situation, Irina allowed Matthias to spend time with their daughters, even permitting them to stay with him in the Caribbean for three weeks over Christmas. According to Irina, the girls cherished their father and wished to see him as much as possible.
On Saturday, the 29th of January, Matthias sent Irina a text message asking whether it would be suitable to drop the girls off at school on Monday the 31st instead of returning them home to their mother on Sunday. Irina responded by stating that she preferred the girls to come home first.
However, Irina never heard from Matthias or her daughters again.
A will, dated 27th of January, was discovered at Matthias’s home, addressed to his daughters, ex-wife, and a few other close family members and friends.
Immediately, Irina went to the police, who initially told her not to worry and that Matthias would bring the girls home soon. The fact that he was Swiss appeared to be a factor in the police’s assurance, which was baffling.
On the 31st of January, Irina received a postcard from Matthias postmarked from Marseille, France. It is important to note that the two towns are approximately 520 kilometers (320 miles) apart. The postcard declared that Matthias could not live without Irina.
Matthias purchased three ferry tickets for the ferry leaving Marseille to the French island of Corsica on January 31st. The ferry was scheduled to arrive in the town of Propriano the following morning. Eyewitnesses observed Matthias and the twins on the ferry, but no eyewitnesses came forward to confirm whether or not Matthias disembarked the ferry with the twins.
Unexpectedly, Matthias returned to the mainland alone the next day (February 2nd) on the ferry leaving the French town of Bastia and arriving in the southern French town of Toulon.
On February 3rd, Matthias was spotted in Naples, Italy. Allegedly, he sent several more letters to his wife, one of which contained 8,000 EUR in cash.
On February 4th, Matthias committed suicide by throwing himself under a high-speed train in the Apulia region of southern Italy. The girls were nowhere to be found.
Matthias’s black Audi A6 with Swiss plates was discovered in the Italian town of Cerignola after his suicide. Traces of one of the twins’ saliva were found in the trunk. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough saliva to conduct toxicology tests, which could have provided insights into whether sleeping pills or poison were in their system. Since authorities could not eliminate indirect contact for the saliva, nothing could actually confirm that the twins had spent any time in the trunk.
Investigations into his computer revealed that he had been researching firearms and poison in the days preceding the kidnapping.
One of the last letters that he sent to his wife stated that he was the last to die, at the train station of Cerignola, insinuating that the twins were already deceased. In another letter, he wrote that the children “rest in peace,” having “not suffered.”
Authorities suspect that Matthias may have experienced a mental breakdown during the separation from his wife, but his actions suggest significant planning.
Two primary hypotheses suggest that Matthias may have perpetrated the heinous act of ending the lives of the girls as an act of retribution against Irina. Alternatively, he may have dispatched them to reside overseas with relatives or acquaintances.
It is disheartening to note that Alessia and Livia remain absent. Their fate, whether alive or deceased, has yet to come to light.
Information concerning the girls includes their date of birth, which occurred on October 7th, 2004. Moreover, they possess blonde tresses, but their eye color remains indeterminate despite their blue-like appearance in photographs. As for their height, it is currently unknown.