South African doctor Lauren Anne Dickason, charged with murdering her three young daughters just weeks after the family immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa, appeared in court yesterday.
Dickason, from Pretoria, appeared in court in the port city of Timaru, and a judge remanded her to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, a court spokesperson said.
Dickason, 40, is charged with killing her 2-year-old twins and their 6-year-old sister. Their bodies were found on Thursday at a property where the family stayed.
“Police would like to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else,” the police said in a statement late on Friday.
Dickason is to appear in court again on October 5.
The family came to Timaru, a city of 29 000 on New Zealand’s South Island, at the end of August, police have said.
They left the compulsory two-week managed isolation last week.
At the time Dickason shared a Facebook post congratulating her husband Graham on their 15th wedding anniversary.
The post read: “Happy 15th wedding anniversary Graham Dickason. What an adventure. We have truly created a beautiful family and had many good times together.
“May the next years be more blessed, more happy and may the kids let us sleep. Thank you for everything you do for us and your unwavering dedication to loving and providing for us. You are my everything.”
The children’s grandparents, in South Africa, said the whole extended family was “in a state of shock” since hearing the news, according the New Zealand Herald.
“The extended families are in a state of shock as we try to understand what happened. We ask for your prayers and support during this very difficult time. We would also request privacy as we battle to come to terms with what has happened,” the grand father said in a written statement.
He said: “[We] were devastated when we heard of the terrible tragedy. The wider family is in shock as we attempt to understand what happened.”
He also asked for prayers and support “in this extremely difficult time”.
Those who know the couple describe the mother as “very humble” and “the nicest person”.