Friends of the woman charged with murdering her three young daughters ‘cannot comprehend’ the deaths, saying the accused mother was grateful to have a family after a lengthy fertility battle.
Lauren Dickason, 40, from South Africa, has been accused of killing two-year-old twins, Maya and Karla, and their six-year-old sister Liane at a home in Queen Street, Timaru, on New Zealand’s South Island, on Thursday night.
The family’s friends and former neighbours in Pretoria were stunned by the horrific alleged murders saying Dickason ‘adored’ her girls.
The three children were found dead just days after the family finished completing their hotel quarantine in New Zealand.
The Dickason family’s former friends and neighbours from Pretoria were stunned by the horrific alleged murders saying Dickason ‘adored’ her girls after struggling to conceive
The girl’s mother Lauren was charged with the murder of her three daughters and is due to appear in the Timaru District Court on Saturday. Pictured: Police tape protects the scene on Queen Street in Timaru, New Zealand’s South Island
They left South Africa at the end of August to relocate to New Zealand for work.
Natasja le Roux, who could hardly comprehend the news, said the family waited years to conceive after a long fertility struggle, the Times Live reported.
‘The nicest person [pregnancy] could happen to is that woman; she was really just a nice person, she and her husband.’
Another neighbour to the Dickason family from Pretoria was equally shocked.
The childrens’ father Graham Dickason, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, had returned to their Timaru home at around 10pm on Thursday where he discovered the children’s bodies. Pictured: Graham and Lauren
South African neighbours and friends remember the family as kind and say the information they are hearing doesn’t seem to ‘add up’
‘They absolutely adored those children. They were so grateful for having them because they struggled to get pregnant and when they finally got the children, they loved them,’ she said.
‘Police would like to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else,’ a New Zealand Police statement said.
Dickason was due to face court in Timaru on murder charges on Saturday.
Husband Graham Dickason discovered the bodies of his three children after returning home around 10pm, and was heard by neighbours screaming: ‘Is this really happening?’
Graham, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, and Lauren, also a doctor, had just moved their family to New Zealand in order to start a new life.
The family arrived in New Zealand in late August and had finished their 14-day hotel quarantine stay days before the tragedy unfolded.
South African doctor Lauren Dickason, 40, has been charged with the murder of her two-year-old twins, Maya and Karla, and their six-year-old sister Liane (pictured together)
A photograph posted on social media on August 30 shows the three girls happily clutching little kiwi cuddly toys with beaming smiles as they arrived in the country.
According to reports, a neighbour heard someone ‘wailing’ outside the property, on Queen Street in the suburb of Parkside, 15 minutes before police arrived.
‘The first noise we heard was somebody sobbing, and then we heard a loud thud like someone just slammed a door,’ the neighbour Jade Whaley told Stuff.
‘We could see someone through our fence wandering behind the house and wailing.’
Another resident, Karen Cowper, described hearing a man crying and saying ‘is this really happening?’
The young family (pictured together) had just moved to New Zealand from Pretoria, South Africa and recently finished their 14-day hotel quarantine
‘We asked him if he was OK. He did not respond to us and was screaming and crying hysterically,’ Ms Cowper said.
The girl’s mother Lauren was taken to the nearby Timaru Hospital on Thursday, where she is in a stable condition.
The girls’ grandmother said the family was struggling to comprehend what had happened.
‘It hasn’t actually sunk in yet. We’re in a terrible state of shock. We are devastated,’ she told Stuff.
Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent John Price said the family appeared to have few contacts in New Zealand.
A photograph posted on social media on August 30 (pictured) showing the three girls happily clutching little kiwi cuddly toys with excited smiles as they arrived in the country
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.
Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said NZ Police was ‘speaking with people from the address and no-one else is being sought at this time’.
The deaths are the second tragedy in as many months to befall the South Island community.
Last month, five teenage boys were killed in a one-car crash in which only the 19-year-old driver survived.
In South Africa, the girls’ grandmother said the family was struggling to comprehend what had happened. Pictured: The twins, Maya and Karla and sister, Liane