Deaths treated as murder-suicide

JOELLE DALLY AND DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 19:18 17/04/2014
fatal waianakarua crash
DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

FATAL CRASH: Police are examining the scene of a fatal crash which they believe is linked to a homicide.

North Otago homicide
DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION: A security guard stationed at the Olive Grove Lodge Holiday Park at Waianakarua, where police are investigating a homicide.

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A North Otago couple have died in an apparent murder-suicide while their teenage sons were asleep. 

Police are treating the woman's "violent" death as a homicide and say it is linked to her husband's fatal crash this morning.

Next of kin to Kim Gordon Simpson, 51, and Lynette Mary Simpson, 52, have been informed.

The couple owned the Olive Grove Holiday Park, in Waianakarua, south of Oamaru. 

Kim Simpson's Land Rover Freelander was found on State Highway 1 about 4.15am today.

He died at the scene about 3km south of the holiday park. Police found Lynette Simpson's body when they went to the home to inform family of Kim Simpson's death at 7am. 

The couple's two teenage sons were still asleep in a sleepout when police arrived. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said the woman's killing ''does look like it has been a violent death''.

''At this stage it would be treated as a murder suicide,'' he said. 

Asked if a knife was involved in her killing, Inglis said it was "part of the investigation".

Firearms had been ruled out, he said.

Fairfax Media has learned police took Kim Simpson's firearms off him just yesterday. Inglis would not comment on that information. 

Inglis said the boys were being supported by police and Victim Support. Other family members were on their way to the town to care for them. 

Neighbours said police swarmed the property after the body was discovered. 

''We have got a very unfortunate incident,'' Inglis said.

"We are treating the Waianakarua property as a homicide scene. We think we will be there for a couple of days.''

A local woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said Kim Simpson had been ''having a wee bit of a breakdown''.

The woman wondered if the couple had been under financial pressure. 

A 'For Sale' sign was outside the Olive Grove Lodge.

''We've had a horrible summer, just rain rain rain. The cost of everything is increasing. Maybe they haven't been busy enough,'' the woman said. 

She described the family as a "normal, attractive, well-presented, good family".

''She [Lyn Simpson] was a very gentle person, a very gentle lady. The kids are lovely.''

''It's just really sad.''

They couple have owned the property, on the north branch of the Waianakarua River, since about 2001.

They converted the former Scout camp into a lodge, backpackers' and camping ground.

A neighbour said his wife phoned him this morning to say police were all over the Simpson's property. 

''It's a shock to the community. No-one likes it close to home,'' he said. 

Another neighbour said the couple ''keep to themselves''.

Kim Simpson had spoken out in the past with concerns about how irrigation demands were impacting the state of the Waianakarua River. 

The couple's website said Lyn Simpson painted landscapes and restored old furniture in between running the lodge.

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