WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – A 40-year-old woman was charged on Friday with killing three young girls in a crime that shocked New Zealand.
Police did not immediately identify the woman, but the Stuff News Agency said it was the girls’ mother, Lauren Dickason, a doctor who had just moved to New Zealand from South Africa. South with her daughters and husband Graham Dickason, an orthopedic surgeon.
Emergency services said when responding to an incident at the home in the town of Timaru, on the South Island, they found a woman, who was hospitalized in stable condition.
Police said the woman killed Maya and Karla, 2-year-old twin daughters, as well as their 6-year-old sister Liane. Police said they had previously given the girls incorrect ages.
The family had moved into healthcare professional accommodation near Timaru hospital less than a week earlier. Before that, as newcomers to the country, they should have spent two weeks in a military-run coronavirus quarantine hotel.
Stuff reported that Graham Dickason returned home shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday and found the bodies of his daughters.
Neighbors Karen and Brad Cowper called the police when they heard a man scream and cry, Stuff said. Neighbors said they asked the man if he was okay, but he didn’t respond other than saying, “Is this really happening?
Police said they were not looking for any other suspects.
“Listen, whenever our police personnel are faced with a tragedy like this, you can’t help but take it personally. Many of us are parents, we have children of our own, and our human side shines through, ”said Police Superintendent John Price.
Nothing on Lauren Dickason’s social media pages over the past few months, while living in Pretoria, South Africa, indicated anything was wrong. She posted photos of her family and baked goods, and wrote about the virus, urging people to get vaccinated. In May, she marked the couple’s wedding anniversary on Facebook.
“Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary Graham Dickason. What an adventure. We really made a great family and had a lot of great times together, ”she wrote. “May the next few years be more blessed, happier and may the children let us sleep. “
Her Facebook page says she went to high school in Pretoria and studied medicine in Cape Town.
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the murders were “absolutely tragic” and he was wholeheartedly with everyone associated with the family.
Inspector Dave Gaskin, the commander of the Aoraki region, said the deaths were “incredibly distressing” for residents of Timaru, especially after five town teenagers were killed in a car crash last month. latest.