Man Throws His 2 Kids, Himself Off Balcony

Police: Father Threw Kids Out of Hotel Window

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A man killed his two young children Saturday by throwing them off the 15th floor of a landmark South Beach hotel and then jumped to his own death, police said.

The children were 4 and 8 years old and the family was on vacation from Alton, Ill., said police spokesman Bobby Hernandez.

The mother of the children told police she and her husband had been having marital problems for the past six months, Hernandez said. Police did not immediately release the identities of the family members.

The woman heard one of her children screaming from an adjacent room in the Loews Hotel, and when she walked into the room she saw her husband going off the balcony, Hernandez said.

She looked over the railing and saw her husband and her two children lying on a mezzanine roof that is about two floors above the ground.

Hernandez said that despite the marital problems, the family had been celebrating the couple's 10th wedding anniversary.

"It's a terrible tragedy. It's unfortunate that this gentleman was so selfish and in an effort to get back at his wife he took the two most loved people in the world away from her," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the woman did not know why her husband killed the children and himself. "There was no indication that he would be capable of doing something as horrible as this," Hernandez said.

People in neighboring rooms said they did not hear any noises, Hernandez said.

A Loews Hotel spokeswoman in Miami would not comment.