Mercy Killing

An 86-year-old man in Asturias ended the life of his terminally ill wife and then committed suicide.

José Fernández Álvarez was a sick man himself, suffering from an acute heart condition, when he decided to end his 83-year-old wife’s life with a knife as she slept. Isabel Ortega was in the terminal phase of Alzheimer’s.

His next act was to go onto the roof terrace of his house in Piedras Blancas, Castrillón, and throw himself off.

It was the son-in-law who found the two bodies when he came to visit, as he did every day, to help his elderly in-laws – it was a little after half seven in the morning. The first thing he saw was his father-in-law lying in a pool of blood. Virtually at the same moment a Guardia Civil police car pulled up, alerted by a neighbour.

The man, accompanied by the two policemen went inside and discovered the body of the elderly woman in her bed with several knife wounds in her chest.

The son-in-law described how the elderly man had spent the last two years of his wife’s illness practically without leaving the house, as she lay unconscious with no sensory reactions.

“He did it out of love, ” explained the son-in-law, “unwilling to see his own daughter suffering because of the plight of her elderly parents.”

(News: Asturias, Spain)

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