His daughter was rushed to the hospital on Saturday after he and his wife called emergency services, but her heart stopped on Monday. An autopsy showed that she had starved to death, weighing “significantly less” than a normal child of her age, the authorities said.
The family was already known to youth services in the small town of Thalmässing. Officials visited them last autumn, reporting that the home was in a ramshackle state.
The girl’s 26-year-old mother is currently hospitalised and guarded by police after an emergency operation. She has not yet been questioned and police speculated she will be well enough for interrogation in the next two days.
Grandparents are caring for the girl’s four-year-old brother, who remains in good health, police said.
According to news magazine Der Spiegel, the mother had two other children who currently live in foster homes.
In a similar case, a Chemnitz judge sentenced a 25-year-old mother to eight years in prison on Wednesday on manslaughter charges for leaving her two-year-old son home alone in Kirchberg for three days over Christmas 2007. He also died of starvation.