Lauren Dickason South African mom kills 3 New Zealand daughters in Timaru. Family had newly arrived to NZ as questions are asked what led to slayings.
A mother allegedly murdered her three young daughters in their New Zealand home — only weeks after the family moved there from South Africa, according to reports.
Lauren Dickason, 40, an orthopedic doctor, killed her 2-year-old twins Maya and Karla, and their older sister Liane, 6, in Parkside, a suburb of Timaru, on Thursday, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Dickason was charged in the slaying late Friday, local time, and will appear in the Timaru District Court on Saturday morning, the media outlet reported.
Lauren’s husband, Graham Dickason, an orthopedic surgeon, found his daughters’ bodies when he returned home shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday.
He called for help as neighbors overheard him screaming and yelling, ‘Is this really happening?’
Had come to start a new life
Emergency services quickly arrived on scene, but the girls could not be saved, according to the report.
Their mother was taken to the nearby Timaru Hospital for treatment, where she was listed in stable condition Friday.
The family arrived who had arrived in New Zealand in late August to ‘start a new life,’ had only been in Timaru for a week after leaving managed isolation and quarantine, as required for travelers to the country amid the ongoing pandemic.
In a statement, local police Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said that the slayings stemmed from ‘a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else.’ No further information about the horrific slayings was given.
Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent John Price said the family appeared to have few contacts in New Zealand.
Earlier this month the mother took to social media asking for help as they prepared for the move.
She had asked for advice about buying furniture in Timaru and wanted to know which schools would be best for her children.
Both parents worked at South Africa’s Pretoria East Hospital before coming to New Zealand, according to their Facebook profiles. The couple also recently celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary.
In a statement, Lauren Dickason’s parents, Wendy and Malcolm Fawkes, from South Africa, told Stuff they were ‘devastated’.
‘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 very difficult time,’ they said.
‘We would also request privacy as we battle to come to terms with what has happened. We would like to thank the staff of Timaru Hospital for their support at this difficult time … and the New Zealand police for their attention to this matter.’
Maria Mandy Sibanyoni, who worked as the children’s caregiver for three years in their Pretoria home, told The Sunday Times she was ‘shattered’ over what happened.
‘I never saw any fight in that family or anything,’ she said. ‘We treated each other as family. I was family too. There was nothing wrong.’
What led to family leaving South African for NZ?
She said she had last spoken to Lauren in June as the family prepared for their move to New Zealand.
‘The last time I saw her, everything was fine and she was happy she was going,’ Sibanyoni said. ‘We went through a lot with Lauren. I was always with her, telling her not to stress about the children, especially one [who underwent several surgeries for a problem with her lip], and to trust in the Lord. I was her shoulder to lean on.’
Adding, ‘They were such nice children. They listened when you told them not to do that, and when they wanted something they would ask. We used to play outside and take a walk on the streets. When I come in they used to be excited that Mandy is here. They would say goodbye to their mother and ‘we are going to play with Mandy.’
‘I have shared a lot of things with Lauren. Now I am shattered. I am not coping.’
New Zealand police declined to say what motivated the mother murdering her three daughters as investigations continue.