Police investigating the discovery of four bodies in a home near Belgrade said Friday they believe a man killed his wife and their two children with a hammer before fatally shooting himself.
Police discovered the bodies at the family's house in Mladenovac, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of the capital, on Thursday, three days after they believe the killings occurred.
A full investigation will be carried out, but police said the killings were clearly a murder-suicide.
Malisa Miletic, 53, apparently killed his wife, Slavica, 48, daughter Jelena, 28, and son Milos, 27, with a stonecutter hammer before shooting himself in the head, investigators said.
A police officer discovered the bodies inside the house when he went to summon Miletic to appear in court to face allegations - based on statements from neighbors - that he had repeatedly beaten his wife and children.
The slayings were the latest in a series of recent violent deaths recorded in Serbia, which is recovering from years of ethnic wars and economic and social crisis. In July, a deranged man went on a shooting spree that left nine people dead in eastern Serbia.
The shooter freely entered the building of the university and opened fire at those who were present on the ground floor