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The nation is in shock after a father drove himself and his two young children to their deaths.

Damien Little, aged in his 30s, wrote a suicide message on Facebook before he got into his white Ford station wagon with his children Hunter and Koda, and drove off Brennan’s Wharf into 30m of water about 6am on Monday.

His wife, Melissa, has been left devastated and is surrounded by her family for support at this time.

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.”

A distraught relative said the family was “in shock” after the incident.

Police divers emerged from the water at 12.30pm with three body bags and a rifle with a telescopic sight.

Friends told The Advertiser that he had posted a lengthy suicide note on Facebook at 5.45am on Monday morning.

That note has since been removed.

Friends and family are in total shock saying…

“They are absolutely doting parents,” said one neighbour.

“I tell everyone how blessed those children were to have such wonderful parents. I could not fault them in anyway. Because she was a school teacher, 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.”

“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.”

damien little
Port Lincoln Mayor Bruce 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.

Just shattering. Our thoughts are with Melissa.

Share your messages below.

If you or someone you love needs help please reach out. Call  Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

Image via Facebook.

  • My deepest condolences to the loved ones left behind. Suicide really is the final desperate act for those trapped by depression or a life they feel is out of their control. It is terrible that many of those suffering depression appear to be functioning normally to all those around them, except maybe their direct household. It has been a taboo topic for too long.

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  • My condolences to the families involved.

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  • I just don’t understand the reason for killing his children what did they do to deserve that, but I suppose you just don’t know what could trigger anybody to do such a terrible thing.

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  • May they all rest in peace. May their mother find closure & relief from her pain.

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  • The suicide note should be published somewhere so the community can understand more what drives someone to do this. The family should release the note because this goes way beyond “respecting privacy”.

    To have any hope of preventing others from committing such an act or murder of innocent children, we need to know what possible justification he could have for taking those kids with him. This isn’t about “seeking help for depression”, the man murdered children. That goes way beyond feeling depressed about your life. The note should be made available so we can see what thoughts went through his mind prior to this shocking event. It doesn’t help anyone if we’re kept in the dark.

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  • It is always harder for the people left behind. If Depression was the reason – I will never understand why he had to also kill his children? Deepest sympathy to those whom have been left behind to deal/cope with the aftermath.

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  • How and why do parents do such cruel thing’s to there kid’s Just because he didn’t want to be here anymore why take your young children with you they had there whole lives in front of them to live sincere condolences to the mother.

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  • All my sympathy’s are with the mother he really had to have had a breakdown or had a mental illness no parent in their right mind would do that to their child /children

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  • I hope his suicide note gives his family the answers they need as to why he had done this. There are alot of people that suffer with depression without anybody knowing. I have suffered with Depression for years and I know there are times that I too did not want to exist anymore and I too had children. Never once did I actually want to commit suicide even though I did not want to be here because it was just so tough not being able to express my feelings. Im not sure about this as I never but I think I if I did snap one day (which is what I think happened to him) I dont think I would have taken my children with me. When suffering depression I can say from experience that you never really know when that pivotal moment will arise. It is very unfortunate that his time was when he had his children in the car. I am in no way condoning what he has done but I do have an understanding that it can happen at most inappropriate moment.
    My heart goes out to his wife and the rest of their families at this dreadful time. RIP \\\\\\\”Little\\\\\\\” ones.


    • What about the community’s needs? The note should be made public.

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  • This is just horrible, I don’t know how anyone could do such a thing. Makes me feel sick- literally!!

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  • This is so sad words cannot express how cruel this is. It does not make any sense at all. This is so very devastating for Melissa and all the families and friends that it affects. The dad may have had a hidden depression that no one knew about.

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  • My deepest sympathy goes out to Melissa on this sad news. Unfortunately we will never know why he did this

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  • That poor woman did not deserve this. How could he murder his children.

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  • That poor women did not deserve this. How could he murder his children.

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  • What a sad story !! Such an aggressive and selfish act to kill yourself and take your children with you. But then again when this man was depressed his anger was most likely turned inwards and he probably was not able to express himself and ask for help. I can imagine that his wife and mum of the children is devastated and that the family is in shock, my heart and prayers go out to her ! Hope the community can gather around them and be of comfort.

    Reply

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