Just before an Australian man, Damien Little, who police say was in his 30s, drove off the end of Brennan’s Wharf in Port Lincoln and into the ocean at high speeds, killing himself and his two small children, he left a chilling suicide note on Facebook, reported the Daily Mail. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Monday, police divers recovered the bodies of Little and his two sons – Hunter, 1, and 4-year-old Koda – inside the family’s white Ford station wagon, submerged 100-feet below the surface.
Prior to the murder-suicide, Little posted a lengthy suicide note on Facebook at approximately 5:45 a.m. on Monday, which has since been removed. Apparently, after writing the suicide note, he got into his vehicle with his two small children and traveled at 50 mph, plunging into the Boston Bay. It is unclear why the father executed a murder-suicide, but his wife, Melissa, is distraught by the tragic deaths of her family.
Port Lincoln Mayor Bruce Green stated that after any murder-suicide, there is “[f]irst a sense of disbelief and then it moves to grief. The community will still be digesting the event and coming to terms with the tragedy. There’s a lot of sensitivities to consider, such as the family and the friends of the family and children. It’s obviously a tragedy for the community. Over the next few days as this unfolds on how it happened and who the people were, the sadness and the knowledge will be hurtful in the community.”
After the murder-suicide, Little’s 36-year-old brother, Shannon, broke down as he visited the makeshift memorial at the wharf where his brother and his children were found submerged in water.
In a tribute, he wrote, “Damo, my brother, thank you for the memories you left me with. Please watch over me — you have now left me here to kick all the goals, bro. Forver [sic] flying, Shanno & Kyra.”
“Hunter, fly high you little man. Watch over us all, we will never forget you. Uncle Shannon and Aunty Kyra.”
Although the murder-suicide shocked the community, the SA victims’ rights commissioner, Michael O’Connell, asked the public on Tuesday not to be judgmental or speculate.
“This tragic, heart-wrenching incident has caused a great deal of anguish for family, kinfolk and those who knew them, but also to many who find murder by a parent to be among the cruelest of tragedies,” O’Connell said.
“As people seek to come to terms with what has happened, they should be careful not to victim-blame. We do not know the reasons Damien did what he appears to have done and speculating helps neither the family nor the people of Port Lincoln.”
According to the Mirror, neighbors were stunned to uncover that Little drove into the ocean, taking his own life as well as his two children.
One neighbor who requested to remain anonymous stated, “They are absolutely doting parents. I tell everyone how blessed those children were to have such wonderful parents. I could not fault them in anyway. Because she was a schoolteacher, she was very strict with how much TV they watched.”
“I just loved them. It breaks my heart. It is just so tragic.”
Another neighbor added that Koda was “was always keen, he was always out on the quad bike with Damien and helping his dad in the garden or fixing things. They were just terrific little people. We saw Damo yesterday and waved.”
— Stacey Lee (@Staceylee_) January 5, 2016
Detective Superintendent Paul Yeomans stated, “We are not treating it as an accidental driving-off-the-wharf… There was a rifle that was retrieved as part of the retrieval process. Whether that’s involved in the incident I don’t know. That’ll be subject to the investigation.”
“It’s a tragic case where you’ve got, we believe, the father and two young children in the vehicle.”
— Jessica Adamson (@JessAdamson7) January 5, 2016
Mayor Green stated that after the murder-suicide, the community is “thinking about ways” to support the family during their time of bereavement. They have already dropped off flowers and gifts at the site where Little drove off the end of the wharf.
He said, “You’re just dumbfounded as to why these things can happen and you just feel – you don’t have any power in solving what’s just happened or changing what’s just happened. So you just feel a little empty.”
After Damien Little committed suicide and took the lives of his two children by plunging into the ocean at high speeds, his family asks the media to respect their privacy.
[Image via Facebook]