Life on the land in Australia


Kim and Geoffrey Hunt with children Phoebe, Mia and Fletcher image www.ozrural.com.au

Kim and Geoffrey Hunt with children Phoebe, Mia and Fletcher Photo: Lee Smith/The Daily Advertiser

Police divers have recovered a body from a dam after a woman and her three children were shot dead on their Riverina farm near Wagga Wagga

Sheep and grain farmer Geoff Hunt has been missing ever since the bodies of his wife Kim, 41, and his children Fletcher, 10, Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6, were found dead on their property, Watch Hill, on Tuesday afternoon.

Aerial photographs of the dam on the Hunt family's property, Watch Hill, near Lockhart image www.ozrural.com.au

Aerial photographs of the dam on the Hunt family’s property, Watch Hill, near Lockhart. Photo: James Brickwood

Divers entered a muddy dam about 1.45pm on Wednesday and recovered a body about half an hour later.

A thick set of tyre marks have cut a clear track across the wheat crop and lead directly to the dam where a white ute was found abandoned yesterday.

A firearm was also found in the dam.

A manhunt began for Geoff Hunt after a concerned woman went to the property and discovered the grisly murder scene at about 3pm on Tuesday.

Police later found a suicide note at the property. Investigators have not disclosed who the note was from.

Superintendent Bob Noble, the commander of the Wagga Wagga local area command, said those who arrived at the home discovered a “horrific scene”.

The children were found inside the house while Mrs Hunt’s body was found on the footpath behind their homestead.

Supt Noble could not say whether the Hunts and their farm were under an unusual amount of financial strain.

“There’s no doubt life on the land’s very difficult,” he said.

“In certain parts of the country at present, it’s very hard on people, but I can’t comment as to whether that was a stressor in this particular matter.”

A family friend said Mr Hunt had been a pillar of support for his wife as she recovered from serious injuries when her car flipped twice on Boree Creek Road in 2012.

Their daughter Phoebe, aged four at the time, was also in the vehicle but suffered only minor injuries.

But Mrs Hunt, a nurse, was left with a broken neck, seven weeks of post-traumatic amnesia and a brain injury.

“He was very supportive in the months after her serious accident,” the friend said after learning of the deaths.

“He really looked after her,” she said.

Strike Force Tullaroan has been formed to investigate the deaths. It comprises officers from the Wagga Wagga local area command and the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad.

Support is available for those who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

Henry Sapiecha

September 10th, 2014

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