Mum Lauren Dickason, 40, has been charged with murdering her twin girls and their older sister in Timaru, New Zealand, a week after the family moved for work at a hospital in the country
A dad who came home to find his three children dead was heard crying out “is this really happening?”
His wife has now been arrested and charged with the murder of their twin girls and their older sister in the New Zealand triple-tragedy.
Local reports said the family had moved to the country from South Africa to work at a hospital in Timaru just a week before the incident.
Police allege Lauren Dickason, 40, killed her twin girls Maya and Karla, 2, and their older sister Liane, 6, at their new home in the South Island city, on Thursday.
Reports said the doctor and her surgeon husband, Graham Dickason, had just moved into the property with their three children.
He returned home shortly before 10pm that night and discovered his three daughters’ bodies, police confirmed.
Neighbours told New Zealand news website Stuff they heard haunting wails and a woman sobbing at the house, before a man returned home and was heard shouting.
They said they heard a bang and then the sounds of sobbing and moaning coming from the property at about 9.40pm.
Jade Whaley said: “The first noise we heard was somebody sobbing, and then we heard a loud thud like someone just slammed a door.
“We could see someone through our fence wandering behind the house and wailing.”
Another neighbour, Karen Cowper, described hearing a man cry out “Is this really happening?” just after 10pm.
The children’s mother was reportedly seen being taken away in an ambulance.
Authorities said she was treated in hospital then charged with her three kids’ murder the following day.
She reportedly remains in hospital in a stable condition as of Friday.
Mr Dickason, an orthopaedic surgeon, Mrs Dickason, a doctor, and their three girls arrived in New Zealand in late August, according to local reports.
Mrs Dickason’s parents Wendy and Malcolm Fawkes told Stuff from South Africa they were “devastated” to learn of their grandchildren’s deaths.
They said their family was in shock and asked for prayers as they tried to understand what had happened.
Police told reporters on Friday no one else was being sought in connection with the deaths.
According to Mrs Dickason’s social media profiles she had previously worked as a GP in Pretoria, South Africa.
In recent months she shared pictures of herself beaming and kissing her twin daughters, and embracing her husband.
It has been reported the property the family were living in a home being used to accommodate Timaru Hospital staff.
Mrs Dickason is due to appear in Timaru District Court on Saturday.
Timaru’s police Area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin told media it was “another incredibly sad event for the people of Timaru”, as it came soon after a devastating crash in the city that resulted in the deaths of five teens.
New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the deaths were “absolutely tragic.”