Vigil for children killed in Timaru

An ever-increasing collection of flowers and toys have been laid on the driveway of the Queen St home where three children were killed last week. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT
An ever-increasing collection of flowers and toys have been laid on the driveway of the Queen St home where three children were killed last week. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT
Timaru tonight will hold a vigil for the three children killed in their Queen St home a week ago.

Two-year-old twins Karla and Maya Dickason and their 6-year-old sister Liane were found dead shortly after 10pm on Thursday, September 16. A woman on the property was taken to Timaru Hospital.

The children’s mother, 40-year-old Lauren Dickason, appeared in court on Saturday charged with their murders. She did not enter a plea, and was remanded to a secure forensic mental health facility in Christchurch for a psychiatric assessment, and is to reappear in the High Court at Timaru on October 5.

Timaru Hospital chaplain Alan Cummins has been asked by organisers to lead tonight’s event.

‘‘It will be a Christian service. It will be mainly reflective, with a few readings, and a moment of silence. We’ve invited people to light a candle in remembrance. It won’t be a long service.’’ ‘‘It’s just a chance to remember the girls and acknowledge the parents.’’

The vigil will be held today at 7pm outside the family’s Queen St address.

On Saturday, members of the community are invited to bring a flower to a floral float on Caroline Bay.

Graham and Lauren Dickason arrived in New Zealand last month with their daughters Liane and twins Maya and Karla.

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

Just a week after they arrived in Timaru, Mrs Dickason allegedly killed the three children.

Mr Dickason arrived home from a work function about 9.40pm on Thursday night to find his three children dead. Police were called by a neighbour who heard his distress.

A relative of Mr Dickason was expected to arrive in New Zealand on Tuesday to support him.

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

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

Det Insp Anderson, the officer in charge of the triple homicide investigation, met the grieving father on Monday.

‘‘We — police and Victim Support — are continuing to support Graham through this tragic time,’’Det Insp Anderson said.

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

Det Insp Anderson said the investigation into the alleged triple murder was far from over. Alongside gathering relevant information for the prosecution, the coroner might also open an inquiry. It was understood any funeral details for the slain sisters were yet to be finalised.

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

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

helen.holt@timarucourier.co.nz

— Additional reporting The New Zealand Herald

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