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Mother of murdered twins struggling to cope, says attorney

Julia Engelhorn found the bodies of three-year-old twins Maximo and Octavia in their father's rented holiday flat in Princess Road on Thursday.

Picture: SAPS.

The attorney for a woman who's two young children were found dead in her ex-husband's Hout Bay apartment says his client is struggling to deal with the tragedy.

Julia Engelhorn found the bodies of three-year-old twins Maximo and Octavia in their father's rented holiday flat in Princess Road on Thursday.

The cause of their death is still unclear.

The case against 48-year-old Spaniard Mario Yela was heard in the Wynberg Magistrates Court yesterday. He was arrested shortly after the bodies were found.

Yela did not appear in court yesterday as he's currently under police guard in hospital and being treated for serious abdominal injuries.

Engelhorn's attorney Juan Smuts yesterday said the accused dropped off their seven-year-old son at school on the morning of the murder.

“Obviously under the circumstances, she is taking strain. And it’s a very tough period for the mother and the family. I’m not going to elaborate on the incident at this stage because the investigation is at a very sensitive stage.”

At the time of his arrest, Yela had been in South Africa to visit his three children.

He was due to fly back home to Barcelona the same day his children's bodies were discovered.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)

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