10 May 2011

Mother killed children before taking own life - coroner

3:30 pm on 10 May 2011

The Hawke's Bay Coroner says a mother killed two of her children before taking her own life.

In July 2009, police found the bodies of three people inside a house in the coastal settlement of Haumoana.

The children aged 2 and 4 were found in the lounge, while their mother, Melissa Rachel Dorward, 31, was found in the shower.

There were no obvious injuries, no sign of a struggle and police did not find any weapons at the property.

Coroner Chris Devonport says post-mortems concluded that on the balance of probability, both children died from suffocation.

Mr Devonport says police provided evidence that she was pregnant with her fifth child and there was tension between her and the children's father.