A devastated father shouted “Is this really happening” after returning home to find the bodies of his three young children – their mother was accused of murdering them.
Graham Dickason and his family moved to New Zealand to start a new life, but just days later, neighbors reportedly heard “ghosting” and a woman’s cries at their home.
When Graham, a doctor, went home, he reportedly found his twins Maya and Carla, two, and little six-year-old Lian, dead, and he shouted: “Is this really happening?”.
Police were called to the horrific scene around 10 p.m. Thursday, and Lauren Dickason, the mother of the 40-year-old children, was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Today he was charged with the murder of his three daughters.
The family had only come from Pretoria, South Africa, and settled in their new home in Timaru on New Zealand’s South Island.
A photo posted online on August 30 showed smiling girls holding toy kiwis as they landed in the country.
Orthopedic surgeon Graham and hospital doctor Lauren are said to have been planning to visit Timaru for some time.
Lauren’s parents Wendy and Malcolm Fox NZ news site Stuff. told They were “devastated” to hear about the tragedy.
He added: “The extended families are in a state of shock as we try to understand what happened. We ask for your prayers and support during this difficult time.
“We will also request confidentiality as we struggle to come to terms with what has happened.”
Neighbors said they heard a bang at around 9.40 pm and then heard cries and groans.
Jade Whaley said: “The first noise we heard was someone crying, and then we heard a loud rumble as if someone slammed the door.
“We could see someone walking through our fence behind the house and crying.”
Another neighbor, Karen Cowper, described hearing a man cry “Is this really happening?” Only after 10 pm.
He said: “We asked him if he was okay. He didn’t give us an answer and was screaming and crying frantically.”
Police sealed the house – which was leased by the local hospital to newly arrived staff – when paramedics tried to save the girls.
Forensic officers in white overalls examined the house for evidence on Friday.
“Police want to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not looking for anyone else,” said Debt Inspector Scott Anderson.
“The investigation into this tragedy is still in its early stages, but we can confirm that no one else is being sought in connection with the deaths of the three children.”
Area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said it was “another incredibly tragic incident for the people of Timaru”, in which five teenagers died.
According to their social media profiles, both Graham and Lauren worked at Pretoria East Hospital before emigrating.
While in quarantine earlier this month, Lauren excitedly posted about Timaru’s move and asked for suggestions on schools and furniture stores.
She also said that her eldest daughter had very limited schooling in the past year due to the COVID lockdown in South Africa.
The couple celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in May.
Lauren marked her husband with a Facebook post, saying: “What a thrill.
“We have made a really beautiful family and have had many good times together.
“May the next year be more blessed, happier and the kids let us sleep.
“Thank you for everything you do for us and your unwavering dedication to loving and providing for us.
“You’re everything to me.”