RELATIVES of Lockhart’s Hunt family are bracing for another few days of intense heartache as an inquest starting on Tuesday seeks to find the reasons behind a shooting tragedy that took five lives and devastated the region last year.
Four days have been set aside at the Wagga courthouse for State Coroner Michael Barnes to conduct the inquest into the deaths of popular rural couple Geoff and Kim Hunt and their children Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe.
The bodies of 41-year-old Mrs Hunt, Fletcher (10), Mia (8) and Phoebe (6) were found at their family home on the farming property Watch Hill on September 9 last year. Mr Hunt, 44, was found dead in a nearby dam the following day, having apparently driven a vehicle there from the farmhouse.
All five are believed to have suffered gunshot wounds.
Mrs Hunt’s younger sister, Jenny Geppert (nee Blake), spoke with The Daily Advertiser on Monday on behalf of the Blake and Geppert families.
“This week will be difficult for our families, another arduous formality to endure,” Mrs Geppert said in a statement.
“We hope that our desire for privacy during this time will be respected.”
She said the Geppert and Blake families would like to thank the Lockhart, Tumbarumba, Galore and Sandigo communities for “their amazing support over the previous traumatic year”.
“The love and care from our friends and extended family will also be forever remembered,” Mrs Geppert said.
“We hope that this tragedy may remind all of what really matters in this world, and to act with humility and empathy towards others at all times.”
Geoff Hunt is remembered by his family as a devoted father, loving husband, talented sportsman and skilled farmer.
Kim Hunt, who survived a near-fatal car crash in 2012, was described by her family last year as a skilled nurse, amazing chef and wonderful mother and wife.
Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe attended St Joseph’s Primary School at Lockhart and even at their young ages impressed and endeared with their personal qualities.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.