SYDNEY (AFP) – A rural Australian town was in shock Wednesday after a mother and her three children were found shot dead at a farmhouse in a “horrific scene”, as police searched a nearby dam for the father.
Police found the bodies after being called to a property near the town of Lockhart about 535 kilometres southwest of Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.
They were named in local media as Kim Hunt, 44, her son Fletcher, 10, and daughters Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six.
The children’s bodies were inside the house, while the mother was found dead on a path at the back of the homestead, police said.
Wagga Wagga Superintendent Bob Noble said the crime scene was “horrific”, adding: “I don’t think even the most hardened professional could remain unmoved by what’s out there.
“It’s certainly not something I’ve encountered anything similar to before, and I hope not to ever again.”
Noble said all four were believed to have died late Monday or early Tuesday of gunshot wounds, although police have not yet carried out a post-mortem. No weapon has been found.
The police chief added that a search was underway for the father, Geoff Hunt, 44, with divers scouring a dam “within sight of the homestead” after a car was found abandoned nearby.
“That is the focus of our investigation and our search today. But we are making no assumptions because we just don’t want to rule anything in or out,” he said.