THERE were simply no words to describe the pain felt in the Lockhart community on Wednesday.
Understandably, few in the town of about 900 wanted to talk about the horror that unfolded at a property just 13km out on the Boree Creek Road on Tuesday.
"It's very devastating," one woman, who preferred not to be named, said.
The simple statement summed up the thoughts of many - words weren't needed; the heartache was easy to see as the verandah town struggled to comprehend why the lives of four - then later five - of their own had been taken so soon.
A staff member at the town's hardware store said Geoff Hunt - whose body is believed to be the one recovered from a dam on the property about 2.30pm on Wednesday - bought plumbing items on Friday and nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
Just days later his wife Kim Hunt, 41, son, Fletcher, 10, and daughters, Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6, were found dead at the family home.
All are believed to have suffered gunshot wounds.
The sense of shock was evident on the faces of residents The Daily Advertiser saw in the main street, itself eerily silent, about lunch time.
Residents in Boree Creek also preferred not to comment.
It was a feeling echoed by hardened officers at the scene - some of them knew the Hunt family, while others worked in the community they called home.
Wagga Local Area Commander Superintendent Bob Noble described the investigation and recovery operation as very difficult for all involved.
"There's a lot of people in town here that are suffering greatly," Superintendent Noble said.
"There are all sorts of sad stories out there at the present time and, I guess, the police are part of that.
"But, hopefully we can be part of the way forward."
Superintendent Noble said he'd never experienced something so tragic in his career.
"None of us would be sorry if we don't again, but the way we feel about it is insignificant compared to those people that are directly affected; family and friends.
"I spent some time at the school earlier this morning and there's little hearts breaking all over the place so our (the police) pain is relatively small (in comparison)."
* Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.
Leave your tribute here.