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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Father drove two sons off Port Lincoln wharf in murder-suicide

THE Little family has released photos of Damien, Melissa, Koda and Hunter Little, as the brother of Damien visits the site of the memorial at Port Lincoln.
Two photos — one of the two boys, and one of the family — were released to media today by SA Police, on behalf of the family.

Damien Little drove off the wharf at Port Lincoln early Monday morning, killing himself and his two sons, in a murder-suicide bid.
On Tuesday, Damien’s brother Shannon Little, 36, broke down when he visited the wharf, where a makeshift memorial of flowers, toys, cards and teddy bears is growing as the community grieves.
At the memorial site, Shannon left messages for his brother and nephews, writing: “Damo, my brother Damo, thank you for the memories you left me with. Please watch over me — you have now left me here to kick all the goals, bro. Forver flying, Shanno & Kyra.
“Hunter, fly high you little man. Watch over us all, we will never forget you. Uncle Shannon and Aunty Kyra."

Family in shock

A distraught relative said the family was “in shock” after the incident. She declined to comment further.
Police divers — flown from Adelaide — emerged from the water at 12.30pm with three body bags and a rifle with a telescopic sight.
Friends told The Advertiser that Little posted a lengthy suicide note on social media at 5.45am on Monday.
That note, on a Facebook page he shared with wife, Melissa, had been removed by Monday afternoon. The only recent post on the page was a solitary question mark.
Melissa, who was being supported by family and friends at their home on the outskirts of Port Lincoln, was too distressed to comment on Monday night.
The couple were planning to build a family home on their rural property, which offers views of Boston Bay.
Devastated neighbours paid tribute to the “vivacious, sensational and beautiful” children. They would not comment on the family’s circumstances.
Koda, who was due to start kindergarten in a few weeks, was a lively, friendly child who loved to help his father garden and work at their home with his toy tools and wheelbarrow.
Koda, who had dark hair and eyes, also doted on his younger brother Hunter, who was not yet a year old.
“They are absolutely doting parents,” said one neighbour, who declined to be named.
“I tell everyone how blessed those children were to have such wonderful parents. I could not fault them in anyway. Because she was a schoolteacher, she was very strict with how much TV they watched.
“I just loved them. It breaks my heart. It is just so tragic.”
Another neighbour said Koda “was always keen, he was always out on the quad bike with Damien and helping his dad in the garden or fixing things”.
“They were just terrific little people. We saw Damo yesterday and waved.”
News the of tragedy quickly spread through the community. Little played with his brothers at Lincoln South Football Club, winning premierships in 2009 and 2010.
Shocked friends told The Advertiser they could not believe the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“I saw (Little) about three days ago at the beach and he seemed absolutely fine,” said one friend, who did not want to be named.
“He seemed normal. He is a normal guy, he is not a big drinker or anything like that, with a family, and I could not sense anything was wrong when I spoke to him. I have never seen a bad side.”
Locals said Little came from a close family of five brothers who were raised on a Port Kenny farm. Parents of friends of the children have had the heartbreaking task of explaining the boys’ deaths. One said she found it overwhelming to tell them Hunter would not be around to play anymore.
Mr Green said the community was in shock. “First there is a sense of disbelief and then it moves to grief,” he said.
“The community will still be digesting the event and coming to terms with the tragedy.
“There’s a lot of sensitivities to consider, such as the family and the friends of the family and children. It’s obviously a tragedy for the community. Over the next few days as this unfolds on how it happened and who the people were, the sadness and the knowledge will be hurtful in the community.”
Detective Superintendent Paul Yeomans confirmed the worst at an afternoon news conference after the three bodies were pulled from the water. “We are not treating it as an accident,” he said.
Major Crime detectives flew to Port Lincoln on Monday to help with the investigation.

Tranquil day shattered by tragedy

A TRANQUIL summer morning at Port Lincoln was shattered when Damien Little’s white Ford station wagon raced along Brennan’s Wharf and flipped into the depths of Boston Bay.
It was about 6am and the sound of sirens from police, ambulance and rescue crews filled the air soon after.
Bodhi Pannenburg was among the witnesses and said he saw the car drive towards the water at about 80km/h.
“We saw a car go past and heard a bang,” he said. “Then it ... flipped over the lip and sunk to the bottom.”
Rescuers hoped the car was empty. But inside were Little and his sons Koda and Hunter, aged around four and one respectively. They stood little chance.
Divers were left with the grisly task of retrieving their bodies, also pulling a rifle from the depths.
The surreal and tragic sight of the Little’s car emerging from the ocean followed at about 3pm.
Little drove the station wagon off wharf 8, which is a public access area popular for local fishers. The area has small raised concrete edges, but they are lower than the average person’s knee height.
Brennan’s Wharf, owned by Flinders Ports, also has major commercial loading facilities that handle grain, fertiliser and petrol.
Flinders Ports chief executive Vincent Tremaine expressed his sympathy for the family and staff who worked at the wharf.
“It’s just a tragedy and, understandably, our employees in Port Lincoln are really quite shaken,” he said.
Mourners started to arrive at wharf 8 on Monday afternoon to pay their respects.
A shrine of tributes, including teddy bears and flowers, was starting to build at the scene.
Josephine Lim, Anthony Templeton

Father drove two sons off Port Lincoln wharf in murder-suicide January 5, 2016

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