The bodies of a woman and her two sons were found Sunday evening at their Johannesburg home by her ex-husband, police Warrant Officer Balan Muthan said. Authorities suspect the woman administered a substance that killed her children, and took her own life by ingesting it as well.
"I can confirm the deceased is my first cousin," Nair told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The woman's brother, Vishal Maharaj, identified her as Anusha Maharaj. Police said Maharaj was her family name before she married. South African media identified her as Anusha Mooljee.
Muthan said police suspect "she took her own life by ingesting a substance that killed her," and that she "most probably" gave the same substance to her children. Autopsies were conducted Monday and toxicologists were analyzing the substance believed to have killed the three family members.
Suicide notes were found and a murder investigation was underway, Muthan said. He said copies of the notes were admitted as evidence in the probe and declined to comment on the contents.
Eyewitness News, a South African media outlet, said the boys who died were 12 and 17 years old and cited neighbor Claire Osment as saying she rushed outside after hearing screams coming from the townhouse where they lived.
"We asked what happened. The dad just said, 'She has killed my boys.' He was just crying," Eyewitness News quoted her as saying. "He couldn't believe it, he couldn't believe that his sons are gone."