A mum is suspected of killing her two children and herself in a car crash only weeks after the apparent suicide of her partner.
Tiny Tibble, 43, along with her son Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, 14, and daughter Ana-Roimata Rangihuna, 10, died on November 16 after their car crashed into a tree.
The fatal smash took place month after Ms Tibble’s partner, Lance Rangihuna, died in what officials also believe to be a suicide, crashing his car into the same tree.
A spokesman for the local coroner in Te Araroa, New Zealand, said the family deaths were being investigated as ‘self-inflicted’, Daily Mail Australia reports.
It was earlier reported that Rangihuna was being investigated for a historic sex charge at the time of his death.
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Speaking to Stuff, Tibble’s devastated brother said that she had left a note instructing her family to cremate their remains and leave them with Rangihuna.
He said that she had lived with him in the weeks prior to her death and nothing was out of the ordinary.
A police spokesman said it was a “uniquely challenging” case.
They said: “This involves examining a range of possible contributing factors including environmental … and the people involved through avenues like witness and family statements.
“Police findings help advise the coroner, who will make ultimate determination on cause of death for all involved.
“Police acknowledge the significant impact [these deaths have] had on the local community.”
Family and friends in the small rural community have been left shocked by the deaths.
Mr Rangihuna's cousin Hamiora Huriwai said family had been doing well in the lead up to the suspected suicide.
He told the outlet: “They were strong, they got on with life, they were going to keep going… We had a barbecue together [after the death] with her kids. They were all fine – big smiles, happy.
"We had lambs' tails, gave hugs like we normally do – it was all good.”
Speaking of the children, he added: “'It's really tragic because they still hadn't lived their own lives. Everyone is taking it hard. We're all grieving.”
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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