Boree Creek tragedy: Communities rocked by Kim Hunt, kids deaths

It's been a devastating time for the family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, classmates and community of the Hunt family.

In what police have described as among the worst scenes they've encountered, in just on 24 hours investigators have discovered the bodies of an entire family wiped out.

Here's a wrap of Wednesday's events. Keep scrolling down to see how it unfolded.

6.30pm: Lockhart council will offer counselling to residents who seek it out after a special meeting was held this afternoon.

The meeting developed plans to assist those affected by the tragedy, including St Joseph's School - where the children were in year four, two and kindergarten - and the wider community.

"I believe talking and getting this out is important," Councillor Yates told the media.

"I encourage people to talk to their neighbours about their troubles."

Read more here.

5.45pm: A meeting of community leaders has been held in Lockhart on Wednesday afternoon as the town rallies around one another amid the heartache.

The gathering came together within an hour of a man's body being pulled from the Hunt family's "Watch Hill" property between Lockhart and Boree Creek.

Wagga Local Area Commander Superintendent Bob Noble said police were working closely with Lockhart Shire Council to provide a "point of contact" for the family. Full story here.

5.20pm: Mourners near-filled St Mary's Catholic Church in Lockhart today to support those rocked by the fatal shootings of a mother and three children, and the subsequent discovery of their father in a nearby dam.

Parish priest Anthony Schipp held a church service this morning for those struggling with the tragedy.

He recalled humbling anecdotes of the three children and their mother, despite only posted to Lockhart four months ago.

5pm: Here's more on the press conference held earlier.

It appears the deaths occurred between Tuesday morning and Monday evening but Supt Bob Noble said a post mortem examination will reveal more information into the time and cause of death.

Wagga LAC commander Superintendent Bob Noble speaks to the media after a body was discovered in a dam on the Boree Creek property belonging to the Hunt family. Picture: Laura Hardwick

Wagga LAC commander Superintendent Bob Noble speaks to the media after a body was discovered in a dam on the Boree Creek property belonging to the Hunt family. Picture: Laura Hardwick

Officers investigating the deaths have been personally affected, according to Supt Noble, as they live and work in the community which the victims were a part of.

Supt Noble met with Lockhart's mayor, general manager and councillors this morning and spent some time at St Joseph's Primary School today where the young victims, Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six, attended.

"Some of the police here actually know or knew some of the people who were involved as victims in this matter," he said.

"It's been a difficult investigation and operation generally and to that end, there's a lot of people in town here that are suffering greatly," he said.

"I spent some time at the school this morning and there's little hearts breaking all over the place," he said. 

Audio, full story here.

3.45: 

3.35pm: A leading psychologist has warned of the difficulties of dealing with grieving children when facts aren't clear.

Child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg advised there was no generic way to deal with the topic of death, but believed honesty and reassurance were key.

The Lockhart community was hit yesterday afternoon with news four of its members had been tragically found shot dead.

"Very young children don't have a very clear understanding of the universality or finality of death so it's really important to understand there's no generic understanding of death," Dr Carr-Gregg said. Full story here.

3.10pm: Superintendent Bob Noble has outlined the findings of police divers.

"I can confirm the police diving unit who attended here this afternoon did a short time ago located the body of a deceased male person in a dam near the homestead where yesterday four other bodies were located," he told media at the scene.

"I can also confirm a firearm was also located with that deceased person in the dam.

"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. State Crime Command HS will be taking the lead on this investigation and they will be assisted by local detectives and other police here at the Wagga Local Area Command.

2.57pm: Investigators are still combing through the crop as the search for a weapon and other evidence continues.

2.55pm: Media assembled at the Boree Creek property will be briefed by police shortly.

Police divers entered the dam around 1.45pm, recovering the body about half an hour later. 

Police have confirmed that a suicide note was found on the property, but it is believed the gun that killed the Hunt family is still yet to be found.

2.35pm: Superintendent Bob Noble from Wagga LAC has confirmed a body has been retrieved from a dam on "Watch Hill". 

More to come.

2.15pm: Tributes for the victims of the Boree Creek shootings have been flooding social media.

If you wish to put your condolences into words, you can leave a tribute for the Hunt family on our national tribute wall here.

1.30pm: NSW police have released an image of investigators combing the Boree Creek property.

The latest release from police also provides the first official confirmation of the victims.

"Update on the investigation into the deaths at Lockhart from NSWPF. 

Relatives of the Lockhart family have authorised NSW Police to confirm the names of those whose bodies were found on the property yesterday. 

Those who died are 41-year-old Kim Hunt, her son, Fletcher, aged 10, and daughters, Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six. 

Police are still looking for 44-year-old Geoff Hunt."

Strike Force Tullaroan investigators conduct a line search on the Hunt family property near Boree Creek. Picture: NSW Police

Strike Force Tullaroan investigators conduct a line search on the Hunt family property near Boree Creek. Picture: NSW Police

Flags were lowered to half mast at Lochart's St Joseph's Primary School today to remember three of its students fatally shot yesterday. 

Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six - were found dead yesterday afternoon at their property on the Lockhart-Boree Creek Road, south of Boree Creek.

Wagga Catholic Schools Office school services consultant Dave Collie said the main priority was to support the students, staff and community touched by the deaths of year four student Fletcher, year two student Mia and kindergarten student Phoebe.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Kim Hunt and her children Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe at Boree Creek, near Lockhart yesterday," Catholic Schools said on behalf of St Joseph's. 

Full story here.

Lockhart mayor Peter Yates and general manager Rod Shaw have released a statement in response to the death of Kim Hunt and her three children yesterday.

"We have become aware today of the tragic deaths of a mother and her three children in a farmhouse not far from Lockhart," the statement said.

"Both council and the whole community are devastated by this heartbreaking event and we offer our sincere condolences to family members and friends.

"Our hearts are with you in this difficult time.

"We need to stick together through this trying period."

Lockhart Shire Council is offering counselling services for those in need.

"If requested, we can provide details of appropriate counsellors and can offer facilities for counsellors to conduct consultations if required," the statement said.

Crs Yates and Shaw have described the incident as a dreadful loss to the community and a time of great sadness.

As the Lockhart community mourns the loss of a prominent resident, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) remembers one of its valued colleagues.

Kim Hunt was an employee at the Lockhart Multi Purpose Service (MPS), where she had worked as a regional nurse since 2000. 

Mrs Hunt was appointed to clinical nurse educator at Lockhart MPS in April this year after recovering from a serious car accident in 2012. Full story here.

Strike Force Tullaroan will concentrate on the Hunt family property today as the search for Geoff Hunt, who has been missing since the bodies of his wife and three children were found at the homestead yesterday, continues.

Also missing from two crime scenes established at the Boree Creek property is the weapon believed to have inflicted the fatal injuries on Kim Hunt, 41, and her three children Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six.

Superintendent Bob Noble, commander of the Wagga LAC, fronted media outside the Wagga station this morning.

While there was little new information, Supt Noble outlined what the newly-formed strike force had in their sights as they sift through a evidence at the grisly scene.

Police would not elaborate any further on speculation a suicide note was found, and revealed that a weapon has not yet been located at either of the two crime scenes that have been established on the property. 

The focus is now firmly on locating the missing man, Supt Noble said. Full story here.

YELLOW canola on one side, a lush green crop on the other and an unexpected ribbon of blue and white police tape across the driveway.

A property, on what would normally a quiet country road between Lockhart and Boree Creek, became a crime scene about 3pm yesterday as at least six police cars rushed to the area.

A short time later a couple - understood to be relatives of those who live there - were briefed on the situation.

The woman fell to the ground, visibly distressed by what she had heard.

About 6pm, Wagga Local Area Commander Superintendent Bob Noble told The Daily Advertiser at the scene the bodies of four people had been found at the home.

At sunset, a SES unit from The Rock arrived to provide lighting and, as darkness fell, relatives stopped at the police tape.

Police on the property near Boree Creek where four people, including three children,  were found dead on Tuesday. Picture: Laura Hardwick

Police on the property near Boree Creek where four people, including three children, were found dead on Tuesday. Picture: Laura Hardwick

As distant flashes of lightning were seen in the distance, uncontrollable crying was heard.

Kim Hunt, 41, and her three children Fletcher, 10, Mia, eight, and Phoebe, six, were found dead at their property "Watch Hill" after the alarm was raised on Tuesday.

Geoff Hunt, 44, hasn't been seen since the bodies were found, and police are desperate to find him.

"He presents concerns for us on a number of levels and it's really important that we locate him," Superintendent Bob Noble, commander of the Wagga Local Area Command, told The Daily Advertiser.

Mr Hunt is described described as being caucasian, of medium athletic build, about 193cm tall, with short brown hair, a clean-shaven face and no known tattoos or body piercings.

"In the first instance we're very concerned for his welfare," Supt Noble said.

"We're obviously also concerned about what part he has had to play in the circumstances as they unfolded there this afternoon.

"There is an element of concern that if he is at large he might be dangerous, so ... that's a focus for us at present."

Strike Force Tullaroan was established on Tuesday night and will be joined today by police divers.

The special team will examine a dam on the property as well as surrounding waterways.

THE deaths have shocked the region, Lockhart mayor Peter Yates said.

"It's devastated the whole community," Councillor Yates told The Daily Advertiser last night.

"We're all saddened by it, of course ... I know the family, they're a well-respected farming family and it's just so devastating.

"I just can't believe it ... especially when there's children involved, they had their whole lives ahead of them."

BOREE Creek's biggest claim to fame is former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer calls it home.

His property near the town - which is located about 539 kilometres south-west of Sydney and about 80km west of Wagga - reportedly became the seat of power in Australia when Fischer was acting prime minister.

It's a small, close-knit community of about 271 - which includes the surrounds - one that will be sure to feel the devastation of losing four of their own.

The property where a woman - believed to be aged in her 40s - and three young children - aged 10 and under - were found dead sits almost halfway between Boree Creek and nearby Lockhart.

At this time of the year, the countryside looks picture perfect; a picture that was tainted uncomprehendingly on Tuesday.

Four lives ended.

How? A police investigation throughout the night will go some way to determine what unfolded inside a house on the property on Tuesday.

* Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

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