More details have emerged about the family of four who were found deceased in a house on Sydney‘s North Shore.
Police have confirmed they are currently still investigating the full details of the family’s death, but The Daily Telegraph have reported that the family passed away from being gassed.
A police source is quoted as saying: “There was a lot of pre planning that went into this.”
This is currently unconfirmed by NSW Police.
None of the bodies showed any signs of violence, and reports say each family member was found in different sections of the house.
The family – mother Maria Lutz (43), father Fernando Manrique (44), daughter Elisa Lutz (11) and son Martin Lutz (10) – were found, along with the family dog, after police broke into their home in Davidson yesterday.
Both of the children were deaf, and lived with non-verbal autism.
Police entered the house at 11:20am yesterday; a friend concerned for the family’s welfare contacted police after the children didn’t attend school and Maria hadn’t shown up for her shift at the school’s tuckshop.
The Daily Telegraph has today published a story on the tragic incident, citing sources saying that Maria, who was a dedicated mother and volunteer at their school – struggled greatly with her children’s autism.
Neighbours told media that parenting duties often ‘left her with a heavy heart and contemplating how to cope’, and had many sleepless nights trying to meet her children’s needs.
One neighbour, Sonja Perry, said:
“Maria used to tell me how hard it was on her and her husband having two kids who were deaf and dumb**.“She said it was a heavy thing on her heart and some days she found it impossible to cope.”
Maria would regularly share her kids’ updates on social media, even using Facebook to find Oreos during a biscuit shortage as they were Martin’s favourite and she needed them as rewards for him. She also shared pictures of Martin and Elisa‘s artworks on social media, as both children were talented artists.
On Autism Awareness Day, she published a post asking friends to help her celebrate with her and her children:
“People with autism have the needs and desires as you and me but just see life in a different way. They think freely. They also feel overwhelmed when they are in public so they might do things that are not the norm of our society.Today we celebrate their life and we try to educate our society to be caring and patient with those with autism.”
Homicide detectives have now joined the investigation to find exactly how this tragic situation came to be.
“There’s no one telling us what happened. No one who has witnessed this,” said superintendent Dave Darcy.
Police are now allegedly searching for where the family could have purchased the gas bottles from.
They are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Source: Daily Telegraph.
** This is a direct quote. ‘Deaf and dumb’ is an vastly outdated term that many people with autism or other intellectual disabilities consider a slur. To describe someone who is deaf and does not speak, simply say exactly that. ‘Non-verbal autism’ also applies in this particular instance.
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