An entire family jumped one after the other to their death from a Swiss balcony: only now does it become clear what possessed them

Archive image: researchers take samples from the balcony in question.Photo: REUTERS

A year after five members of a family threw themselves off the balcony in Montreux, Switzerland, the investigation into that family drama has been completed. According to the investigators, it concerns a family that had come to believe in all kinds of conspiracy theories and no longer saw a future. When officers came knocking, they put an end to it.

March 24, 2022, 6:15 am. One by one, five members of the same French family jump from the balcony on the seventh floor in Montreux, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva opposite the Montreux casino. Nasrine Feraoun (41), her twin sister Narjisse, her husband Eric David (40), their daughter (8) and son (15). Only the latter survives. After months in a coma, he will wake up and remember nothing of the facts.

The gruesome scene presents the emergency services with a mystery. There appears to have been no arguing or fighting before, and the autopsies show that none of them were under the influence. According to witnesses, none of them screamed as they jumped off the balcony. A year later, the public prosecutor in the canton of Vaud released the results of the investigation, which showed that it was not an accident. It was collective suicide.

Conspiracy theories

According to the investigation, the Public Prosecution Service reports, the mother and her twin sister had a “very dominant and possessive personality”. “A big contrast to the father. They had a great influence on the children and made them believe that the world was very hostile to them.” The children had no contact with the outside world: they were homeschooled and only the mother’s twin sister went to work.

After the drama, the emergency services found large supplies of food, clothing, medicines and care products in the house. Typical of the family lifestyle, influenced by the mother and her twin sisters. The two believed in conspiracy theories and tried to provide for their own needs. Due to the corona crisis and the war in Ukraine that followed so quickly, they increasingly believed that the world was bad and that they had to leave here.

Agents call

The “collective suicide” was “prepared and rehearsed”, according to the press release. “They had organized a departure to a ‘better world’.” No date was set, they would wait for an event that convinced them completely. That trigger was ultimately the visit of two officers, who came to question the father about the home education his son received. When the officers rang the doorbell, they heard words being exchanged on the other side of the door. The door was barricaded, after which the five people present threw themselves off the balcony one by one in no more than 5 minutes.

The investigation is closed.

If you have any questions about suicide, you can contact the Suicide Line on the free number 1813 and on the website

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