SYDNEY – Australian police said on Tuesday that gas poisoning could be a possible cause of death of a Colombian family at their home in northern Sydney in a murder-suicide case.
The bodies of the victims were found on Monday after police forcibly entered the house in Davidson Neighborhood.
They were identified as Fernando Manrique, 44; Maria Claudia Lutz, 43; and their two children, 11-year-old Elisa and 10-year-old Martin, who had severe learning disabilities and were believed to be autistic.
“Whilst the cause of death will be a matter for the coroner to determine, police are looking at the possibility the family members died from the introduction of an air-borne gas,” the New South Wales police said in a statement.
Police suspect the deaths are a murder-suicide case and said they needed to wait for the results of toxicology and post-mortem examinations to determine the causes of death.
In the house, where the family’s dog also died, no signs of violence or visible injuries were found, according to police reports quoted by local agency AAP.
Warren Hopley, the director of St. Lucy Primary School, which the Colombian couple’s children attended, said he was shocked by the news and stressed that the school’s staff had no information about the tragedy.