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Lockhart Shootings: Body and Firearm Pulled From Dam After Family Killed

Geoff Hunt has been missing since bodies of wife and three young children were discovered at a property on Tuesday

Guardian (Australia)

10 September 2014

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A body has been recovered from a dam in the NSW Riverina region following the shooting deaths of a woman and her three children.

Farmer Geoff Hunt has been missing since the bodies of his wife Kim, 41, and his children Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight and Phoebe, six, were discovered at a property near Wagga Wagga on Tuesday.

Police divers entered a dam on Wednesday afternoon and pulled out a body a short time ago. A firearm was also found in the dam.

Police said the body had injuries "not inconsistent with the others".

Police earlier said the scene at the Lockhart homestead was "horrific" and like nothing they had ever encountered.

"I don't think even the most hardened professional could remain unmoved by what's out there," Wagga Wagga local area commander Superintendent Bob Noble said. "It's certainly not something I've encountered anything similar to before, and I hope not to ever again."

Ambulance officers and police found the bodies of the woman and her children on Tuesday afternoon. All four are believed to have died after suffering gunshot wounds, although post mortem examinations are still to be conducted.

The children were found inside the home and Mrs Hunt's body was found on the footpath outside.

The Hunt family were well loved by the local community, Noble said. "It's going to send quite a shock wave through those communities and throughout the whole area," he said.

"These people were well integrated into the local community through work, through social events, through sport. Three young children attended the local school. "It is going to devastate everyone."

Lockhart mayor Peter Yates said the 900-strong town community was in severe shock. "It's just really, really, really traumatising," he said.

Deputy mayor Roger Schirmer said the mood was sombre. "They were a highly regarded, solid family. It will rock this town," he said.

Mrs Hunt had just returned to nursing in April after recovering from a serious car accident two years ago. "A lovely person, a lovely family," Schirmer said.

The local parish priest, Father Tony Schipp, said nobody in town had suspected anything was amiss with Geoff Hunt. "He was happy. He was making arrangements for events that were coming up, that he was going to be part of," Schipp said.

[NSW= New South Wales]

ID: N586

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