A woman has been charged with murder after three young children who had just moved to Nieu-Seeland from South Africa died at a home on the South Island.
The incident occurred late on Thursday at a home in the town of Timaru. Police said emergency services found a woman at the address who had been hospitalised in a stable condition.
Police said two of the children were aged two and the other victim was a six-year-old. They were all siblings. All those involved had recently moved from South Africa to New Zealand, polisie gesê, and had moved out of a mandatory coronavirus quarantine facility within the past week.
In a brief news conference, police said the investigation was in its early stages and they couldn’t yet release many details, including the names of the children or how they died.
Insp Dave Gaskin, the Aoraki area commander, said the deaths would be “incredibly distressing” for residents of Timaru, particularly after five teenagers from the town were killed in a car crash last month.
Later, police said in a statement they had arrested and charged a 40-year-old woman with murder in relation to the death of the three children.
“The woman is due to appear in the Timaru district court tomorrow [Saterdag] morning,” Det Insp Scott Anderson said. “Police would like to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else.”
The Stuff news organisation said neighbours Karen and Brad Cowper called police just after 10pm when they heard a man screaming and crying. The neighbours said they asked if he was OK but he didn’t respond other than to say: “Is this really happening?”
Stuff reported the family was living in accommodation for hospital staff and both the man and woman were medical professionals.