Doctor is charged with murdering her daughter, 6 and her twin two-year-old girls
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 Timaru, in the Canterbury region, on Thursday.
Her 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.
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?'
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