A mum had praised her “beautiful” daughters in a gushing Facebook post just months before being charged with their murders.
A mum gushed over three “beautiful” daughters in a Facebook post just months before being charged with their murders.
Lauren Dickason, 40, has been charged with murdering her three children, 6-year-old Liane and twin 2-year-old girls Karla and Maya.
The family had moved from South Africa to New Zealand and had just completed their hotel quarantine a week prior to the horrific killings.
Police were called to their home in Timaru at 10pm on Thursday after the girls’ father, Graham Dickason, returned home from work and was confronted with the grisly scene.
Neighbours reported hearing the father, an Orthopaedic surgeon, screaming “Is this really happening?” after making the discovery.
Dickason, also a doctor, was taken to hospital and was later charged with the murders of her three children.
“Police would like to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else,” New Zealand police said in a statement.
“The investigation into this tragedy is still in its very early stages, but we can confirm that nobody else is being sought in relation to the deaths of the three children.”
The shocking killings have left friends, family and the community reeling, with many struggling to understand how this tragic situation unfolded.
In a Facebook post from May 1, Dickason praised her “beautiful” family while congratulating her husband on their 15th wedding anniversary.
“What an adventure. We have truly created a beautiful family and had many good times together. May the next years be more blessed, more happy and may the kids let us sleep,” she wrote.
Dickason appeared before Timaru District Court on Saturday morning where she stood silently with her arms crossed looking drawn and distressed, according to the NZ Herald.
She entered no plea and was remanded to a secure mental health unit until her next appearance, which will be at Timaru High Court on October 5.
Family and friends of the Dickason family are reportedly at a loss to comprehend what went wrong in the lead-up to the death of the couple’s three children.
Neighbours in South Africa told Times Live that the couple had struggled with infertility and “absolutely adored” their children.
“Something just doesn’t seem right to us,” one neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, told the publication.
“We don’t know what happened. There is not a lot of information, but they are kind people. Something just doesn’t add up.
“I don’t know if it’s the stress from New Zealand, moving there, being quarantined for so long and everything – just not coping with that going on.
“So I think whatever happened is not normal, it wasn’t normal circumstances.”
The family were said to have been planned the move to Timaru for some time, with a picture posted online on August 30 showing the smiling girls clutching toy kiwis after they landed in the country.
The children’s grandparents, in South Africa, say the whole extended family is “in a state of shock”, according to Stuff.
“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. We would also request privacy as we battle to come to terms with what has happened,” they said.
Those who know the couple describe the mother as “very humble” and “the nicest person”.
“I cannot comprehend what happened – she is a medical doctor and she wasn’t arrogant or anything like that. She was very humble,” former colleague and neighbour, Natasja le Roux, told the Sunday Times in South Africa.
“She was really just a nice person, she and her husband.”
Timaru Mayor Nigel Bowen said the community will be devastated by the tragedy.
“Again, unfortunately. It seems that the community has had layers of tragedy with the five young lads that passed away so it‘s really tough,” he said.
He said the area where the incident took place is “just a typical suburb” and relatively quiet.
“I think the community will be thinking, why is it happening to a place like ours?” he said.
“There’s a lot of pressures on society at the moment, you have to question the support around mental health, are we doing things right in this country? I question that we’re probably not.”
– With Natalie Brown
Originally published as Mum’s post about ‘beautiful’ family before being charged with murder