The three South African children who were killed in New Zealand on Thursday were allegedly strangled with cable ties.
Dr Lauren Dickason was charged with the murder of her three children Liane, 6, and her twin sisters Maya and Karla, aged 2. She appeared in court in Timaru, New Zealand, on Saturday morning after being arrested for the murders on Friday.
Lauren allegedly strangled her daughters with cable ties at their home in Timaru, Canterbury, according to a report in City Press.
A former colleague of Lauren’s husband Graham reportedly said that it was suspected the children had been killed with cable ties.
The family had recently emigrated. According to their social media profiles, both parents are doctors who worked at Pretoria East Hospital before arriving in New Zealand in late August.
The former colleague, also a doctor, said Lauren had used chronic medication, but stopped taking it out of fear it would affect their emigration application. It is not known what condition Lauren was taking the medication for.
New Zealand has strict requirements for immigrants and using chronic medication could count against you.
The former colleague also said that being placed in quarantine when the family first arrived in New Zealand was traumatic.
“The immigration process to New Zealand is extremely traumatic. I understand the place where the Dickason family had to spend their quarantine was basically like in a prison. You don’t see anyone, your food is delivered to your door and you are only let out for about an hour a day.”
The person said that the stress combined with Lauren not taking her medication could have led to the tragic murders of the children.
Media reports said Graham discovered the bodies of his children when he arrived home from work on Thursday. Neighbours also reported hearing “wailing and sobbing” coming from the house and called emergency services.
Compiled by Gareth Cotterell