Timaru tragedy: Scene exam finished, relative arrives in NZ

The public have begun leaving flowers and teddies outside a Queen St, Timaru house where the...
Police have finished their scene examination of the house where the little girls were killed. Photo: George Heard
A relative of the man who arrived home to find his three children dead last week - allegedly at the hands of their mother - will arrive in New Zealand today to support him.

Police have finished their scene examination of the house where the little girls were killed and handed it back to their grieving father.

Graham and Lauren Dickason arrived in New Zealand last month with their daughters Liané, 6, and twins Maya and Karla, 2.

The South African family completed two weeks in managed isolation before travelling to Timaru where Graham, an orthopedic surgeon, had a job with the South Canterbury District Health Board.

Just a week after they arrived in Timaru Lauren allegedly murdered the three children.

Graham arrived home from a work function about 9.40pm on Thursday night and found the grisly scene.

Police were called by a neighbour who heard Graham distressed at the property.

Lauren appeared in the Timaru District Court on Saturday morning charged with three counts of murder.

She was remanded to a secure forensic mental health facility in Christchurch until her next appearance in the High Court at Timaru.

There she will undergo a mental health assessment.

Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said the examination of the scene was completed on Saturday night.

The property was then handed back to Graham.

Anderson, the officer in charge of the triple homicide investigation, met the grieving father yesterday.

"We - police and Victim Support - are continuing to support Graham through this tragic time," Anderson told the Herald today.

"I also know the South Canterbury District Health Board are also giving him heaps of support.

"He has a family member arriving into NZ to support him today."

The Herald has contacted the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - who run managed isolation - for further information on how the family member will be processed and how long Graham will have to wait to see them in person.

Anderson said alongside the family, police were doing everything possible to support staff working on the investigation.

"Police have welfare support wrapped around all staff that have been involved in this homicide, right from the first responders through the entire investigation team," he said.

"In particular the team at the scene have a have a very difficult job to do.

"Many of the police involved have children of their own which makes these sorts of inquiries challenging.

"The investigation team gets really invested in finding the truth and obtaining supporting material as to what has happened and it is only once the dust settles that we need ensure the wraparound is there and being effective."

Anderson said the investigation into the alleged triple murder was far from over.

Alongside gathering relevant information for the prosecution, the Coroner may also open an inquiry.

"Once it's gone from the front page of the paper there is a huge amount of work that continues to go on as this moves through various prosecution phases," Anderson explained.

"From Thursday night through to Monday we had approximately 30 officers on the investigation," he said.

"As of Tuesday this has been scaled back to a team of about 15."

It is understood any funeral details for the slain sisters are yet to be finalised.

Their bodies were removed from the scene on Friday and police formed a guard of honour as the hearse moved slowly away from the house where they died.

The specific details of their deaths have been suppressed and cannot be reported by the Herald.

Lauren Dickason said nothing when she appeared in court for the first time on Saturday.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions only Judge Dominic Dravitzki, duty defence lawyer Kelly Beazley, Crown prosecutor Andrew McCrae, Anderson and Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested and members of the media were allowed to be present.

The alleged triple murderer will appear again in court on October 5.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
• SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.

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