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Three young children from South Africa allegedly murdered in New Zealand

A woman found at the address is in a stable condition.

A woman found at the site is in hospital in a stable condition
A woman found at the site is in hospital in a stable condition
Image: New Zealand Herald via AP/PA Images

THE DEATHS OF three young children who had just migrated from South Africa to New Zealand are being treated as murders, police said.

Police said they were not looking for any possible suspects beyond those allegedly involved in the incident late on Thursday at a home in the South Island town of Timaru, some 100 miles southwest of Christchurch.

Emergency services said a woman found at the address is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Police said the children were three-year-old twins and a seven-year-old who were all siblings.

All those involved had recently moved from South Africa to New Zealand, police said, and had moved out of a mandatory coronavirus quarantine facility within the past week.

In a brief news conference, police said the investigation was in its early stages and they could not yet release many details, including the names of the children or how they died.

Inspector Dave Gaskin, the Aoraki area commander, said the deaths would be “incredibly distressing” for residents of Timaru, particularly after five teenagers from the town were killed in a car crash last month.

The Stuff news organisation said neighbours Karen and Brad Cowper called police just after 10pm when they heard a man screaming and crying.

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The neighbours said they asked the man if he was OK but he did not respond other than to say: “Is this really happening?”

Stuff reported the family was living in accommodation for hospital staff, and both the man and woman were medical professionals.

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