The father of two boys who were found dead in their home has paid tribute to his sons who were ‘full of joy, happiness, and life’.
Alexander and Maximus De Jager, aged nine and seven, were found by police at their home in Belvedere, south east London on March 9 along with the body of their mum Nadja, 47.
Officers aren’t looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Dad Herman De Jager, 36, hopes to create a memorial for his sons who he described as ‘amazing kids’.
Speaking to MyLondon, Herman first paid tribute to eldest son Alex, saying: ‘He had a really good sense of humour and he was always making jokes and getting everyone laughing, there was never a dull moment.
‘He also loved Lego and was obsessed with cars. From a young age he was already determined he wanted to be an engineer and was going to build and design cars, so he found his calling in life really, really young.
‘I started buying him Lego cars and even at 7 and 8 he was building adult size sets without any help, he was always very meticulous and took his time, such an intelligent boy.
‘He was really into science as well. One day we went to London and on the way back we saw one of those travellator things at the station with a conveyor belt.
‘When we got home he got all his Lego bits and built one, an actual working travellator that was spinning round, he used some tape for the conveyor belt, I was so impressed.’
Speaking of younger son Max, Herman said he had a huge heart, adding: ‘Max was very caring and loving, he always wanted to give everyone hugs and would tell me every single day how much he loved me.
‘He was also very brave and very protective of Alex even though he was the younger brother.
‘There were a couple of older boys one day that were picking on Alex and Max walked right between them and told them “you two leave my brother alone or I’m gonna tell my father”, at the time I think he was only six.
‘He dreamed of being a football player, his favourite team was Manchester United and he’d joined the local club. He was starting to play really well too.
‘Alex didn’t like sport but Max was really into it so he’d always watch it on telly with me.’
The two boys loved watching YouTube prank videos and had even filmed a video of them reviewing sweets together, with help from dad.
Herman took the video down following their deaths but has since re-uploaded them, believing Alex and Max would have wanted them to stay online.
He said: ‘They were planning the two videos we made for such a long time and they were always badgering me asking “when are we gonna film it? when are we gonna film it?”
‘After we did film it it took me days to edit all the clips down. But they loved it so much they were so excited.
‘Initially I took the videos down, but in honour of them and their dream and what they would’ve wanted I thought why not make them public for everyone to see.’
Since their death the boys’ school, Belvedere Infant and Junior School, has announced it will pay tribute with a pair of memorial trees and two boulders bearing their names.
Herman also hopes to set up a memorial of some sort in Max and Alex’s names, saying: ‘I would really love to do something in their name so they aren’t forgotten.
‘It’s my long term ambition to set up a mental health foundation or a charity in their name.’
He’s also set up a fundraising page to pay for their funeral costs and a memorial.
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