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Kyla may have slept through

double murder

Marissa Calligeros

May 17, 2011 – 4:44PM

Police have found the body of Kayla Rogers.

Five-year-old Kyla Rogers may have slept through the double killing of her mother and a male family friend at a Gold Coast unit, police say.

Gold Coast Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Trezise was visibly shaken this morning as he spoke of the tragedy.

“In difficult circumstances like this, when we have a triple homicide and what we believe at this stage to be a suicide, it’s not easy to explain exactly why this happened,” he said.

Antony Way.
Antony Way.

 

Superintendent Trezise said evidence found at the unit yesterday indicated Kyla might have slept through the double killing.

“Kyla had gone to bed in the unit, but was missing come Monday morning,” he said.

“There’s some evidence at the scene which indicates that she was asleep in bed the whole time.”

QLD, Australia

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Two weeks ago, Tania Simpson moved with her two children into a unit at Robina for what was supposed to be a fresh start following the separation from her partner of eight years.

Yesterday, that same unit was a crime scene after Ms Simpson’s father discovered the body of her friend, Antony Way from Nelson, New Zealand, when he came to pick up his granddaughter Kyla for school about 8am.

“Unfortunately in quite tragic circumstances he discovered the incident inside the unit, where there appeared to have been quite some violence,” Superintendent Trezise said.

Police have found the body of Kyla Rogers.

When police searched the property a short time later they found Ms Simpson’s body. It is believed the pair were stabbed. It is not clear whether Mr Way and Ms Simpson were in a relationship.

The discovery of the bodies at Robina sparked a frantic search for Kyla.

Police issued an abduction alert for Kyla, believing her father, Paul Anthony Rogers, had fled with her in a station wagon into northern New South Wales.

Tragically, however, Kyla was found dead in the silver Holden Viva station wagon alongside Mr Rogers’s body near the northern NSW town of Casino about 9.30pm yesterday.

The Simpson family have gathered around Tania’s parents and their grandson at their Gold Coast home, but declined to speak to brisbanetimes.com.au today.

Mr Rogers, 40, also from New Zealand, and Ms Simpson managed the Fossickers Rest Caravan Park in Inverell until December last year. The park is still owned by Ms Simpson’s parents.

Ann Clydsdale from Inverell Tourism knew the couple while they lived in Inverell and was shocked to hear the news this morning.

“Paul seemed like a very nice person,” she told The Inverell Times.

“Tania was lovely and we knew the kiddies. They would come to our Christmas functions.”

Ms Clydsdale said they ran a very good park and when they left Inverell in December they were still together.

“They were a happy, friendly couple,” she said.

“We never would have thought something like this could happen.”

The couple had been separated for eight months and Mr Rogers had been living at the Fossickers Rest Caravan Park until last month.

Police have established a major incident room on the Gold Coast as they attempt to piece together what led to the four deaths.

Kyla’s 20-month-old brother, now an orphan, was saved because he spent the night at his grandparents.

Superintendent Trezise said it was “completely possible” Kyla and her father died before the bodies at Robina were discovered yesterday morning.

Police yesterday tracked Mr Rogers via his mobile phone signal across the border, but were unable to pinpoint his exact location.

“The mobile telephone that we were tracing was in northern New South Wales in the early hours of Monday morning, so they were already down there in that location,” Superintendent Trezise said.

“We suspect [their deaths] may have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. We don’t know at what point though the carbon monoxide incident took place.”

A member of the public reported to police, after hearing the child abduction alert about 7.30pm, that they had seen a silver station wagon on a dirt track about 100 metres off the Bruxner Highway about 10.30am.

Police arrived at the scene to discover the worst. The father and daughter were dead in the vehicle under the Piora Bridge, 20 kilometres west of Casino.

Superintendent Trezise said he and other investigators were “gutted” to learn of Kyla’s death.

“When I got the call about 9.27pm last night it was just a kick in the guts,” he said.

“The investigators are fairly gutted in relation to the result. We were hopeful of having a positive result, but it didn’t happen.

“All these people dying is waste, but particularly an innocent child like this one.

“It’s obvious that when tragic events happen we try to look for answers in trying to explain why it happened and unfortunately, rarely is there a simple explanation.”

Superintendent Trezise said police had not uncovered any evidence of a history of domestic violence between Ms Simpson and Mr Rogers.

Having been separated from the children’s father for eight months, Ms Simpson, 31, moved out of the family home at Ormeau, which the couple had bought two years ago from her parents, to become a manager of the Robina unit complex.

Before their separation, the couple had been planning to marry.

“They had been making plans to marry. I understand wedding invitations had been sent out,” Superintendent Trezise said.

“They’d been together eight years, but unfortunately the relationship broke down prior to the wedding.”

Neighbours yesterday reported hearing screaming and yelling from the unit on Sunday night.

Superintendent Trezise said there may have been a different outcome on Sunday had someone raised the alarm sooner.

“If people hear screaming – if they hear a distressed person – they should contact police,” he said.

“It’s better to be safe than be sorry. Who knows how things might have unfolded if we had an early phone call.”

The families of Mr Rogers and Mr Way in New Zealand, as well as Ms Simpson’s family, are being supported by police.

Queensland Police deputy commissioner Ross Barnett has also expressed disbelief at the tragedy.

“The whole family has been torn apart and a little 20-month-old boy has been left without a mother or a father. It’s a tragedy,” he said.

Friends have paid tribute to Ms Simpson on the social networking site Facebook.

“Rest in peace to an angel Tania Simpson. She’s left me too soon. Love and care to the Simpson family,” one friend wrote.

Another wrote: “Beautiful and lovely girl she will always be.

“The Simpsons are such a great family. My heart really goes out to them and everyone who knows them.”

CORRECTION: Previous versions of this story had an incorrect spelling of Kyla Rogers name. Police had originally advised the spelling was Kayla, but have since confirmed her name was Kyla.


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