Body found in Australian dam in search for farmer Geoff Hunt who disappeared following the shooting of his wife and three children

Police said the scene at the property in New South Wales was unlike anything they had seen before

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police searching for a farmer, who disappeared after his wife and children were found shot dead in their home in Australia this week, retrieved a body from a dam on Wednesday afternoon.

Geoff Hunt has been missing since Tuesday, when the bodies of his wife Kim, 41, and their children Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight and Phoebe, six, were found at their remote farmhouse near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

Police divers found a gun on the dead man pulled from Lockhart Dam, located near the farmhouse. Police said the body had injuries “not inconsistent” with wounds found on the woman and children.

Officers will now continue to search through paddocks surrounding the family home. Police have confirmed that a suicide note was found on the property.

Superintendent Bob Noble said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the four deaths.

"At this stage, as a result of that development, we are treating this matter as a coronial investigation (and) there will be a brief compiled for the benefit of the coroner," he said, ABC News reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, police had described the scene where the  family were found as “horrific”.

"I don't think even the most hardened professional could remain unmoved by what's out there,” said Mr Noble.

"It's certainly not something I've encountered anything similar to before, and I hope not to ever again," he added.

The emergency services were called to the farmhouse on Tuesday afternoon, where they discovered the children’s bodies inside the property, and their mother on the path outside.

The family were well-liked in the local community, Mr Noble added, according to Sky News.

"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."

Lockhart Mayor Peter Yates told the Australian Associated Press that the town with some 900 residents was in severe shock, and called the incident “traumatising”.

Mrs Hunt’s death came after she returned to work as a nurse in April. Two years ago, a serious car accident which left her unable to walk.