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A father who killed his two kids before taking his own life urged others to ‘protect all children’ and ‘never be cruel’ in a series of social media posts in the months leading up to the tragedy.
The bodies of Indika Gunathilaka, 40, his four-year-old daughter Lily and six-year-old son Kohan were discovered at a home in Essington Street, Huntingdale, in Perth‘s south-east on Friday evening.
Police were called to the home about 6.35pm after the children failed to show up as a pre-determined location where the mother had arranged to pick them up.
The children were reportedly found in their beds while Gunathilaka’s body was in the garage.
WA Police Assistant Commissioner Allan Adams said police were treating the deaths as a double murder-suicide as investigations continue.
Mr Gunathilaka had shared a final photo of him and his two children on a beach just two days before he cut their lives short.
Indika Gunathilaka, 40, with his four-year-old daughter Lily, right, and six-year-old son Kohan, left. The three bodies were found at a home in Essington Street, Huntingdale in Perth ‘s south-east on Friday evening
Gunathilaka shared a final photo of him and his two children on a beach just two days before he cut their lives short
The 40-year-old last month shared an 18-minute video of himself discussing his own mental health battles and telling people ‘suicide is possibly not the answer’
Police were called to the home about 6.35pm on Friday after the children failed to show up as a pre-determined location where the mother has arranged to pick them up
At 3am on New Year’s Day Mr Gunathilaka wrote it was ‘the year of truth and justice’
The image of him holding their hands while watching the sunset was added to his Facebook profile, which was filled with inspirational quotes, and a video detailing his mental health struggles.
One post he shared read: ‘Protect all children even if they are not yours’.
On New Year’s Day he wrote it was ‘the year of truth and justice’.
He shared another quote with the message ‘It’s okay to be angry, it’s never okay to be cruel’, captioning it ‘If only humans practiced this…’.
Dozens more quotes were shared about being kind to others.
‘A child does not question the wrongdoings of grown ups, he suffers them,’ another read.
‘There is sooo much we can improve for our children. If not for anything or anyone else, we owe it to them,’ he said in another post.
‘We have so many options, but for them, we their parents are their whole entire world, both parents equally!’
The 40-year-old last month shared an 18-minute video of himself discussing his mental health battles
The father is pictured with her three children. Police are treating the incident as a murder suicide as investigations continue
‘There is sooo much we can improve for our children. If not for anything or anyone else, we owe it to them,’ he said in another post
The father-of-two had shared several disturbing posts before taking his own life and those of his two children
He shared dozens of inspirational quotes to his Facebook account calling for others to ‘protect’ children and urging his friends to be kind
The 40-year-old last month shared an 18-minute video of himself discussing his own mental health battles and told his online friends ‘suicide is possibly not the answer’.
‘People who have known me well enough for long enough, I would feel quite certain they may not think of me as someone going through depression,’ he said.
‘But I have recently been diagnosed with depression.’
The father said he was on medication and warned: ‘The unpleasant signs of mental health issues or even depression is not only does it affect you, it affects the people around you.
He also opened up about feeling like he was in a ‘deep, dark hole’.
Teddy bears and flowers are seen left on Essington Street where three bodies were found in a home
‘When you are in that deep, dark hole… sometimes you don’t see a solution or anything positive, anything coming out,’ he said.
‘It’s a very thin line and a very quick time where you can go from feeling that to feel that there is no purpose, that there is no way out, that the only solution you may see is just ending which is suiciding.
‘Suiciding is possibly not the solution… reach out to people, try and talk to people, seek help, see what you can do before you make that drastic decision where if you are successful there is no coming back.’
Mr Gunathilaka urged people to have ‘kindfulness’ – which he said was a combination of being kind and mindful.
‘We all have problems, we all need help sometimes, and we’ve all f**ked up sometimes, big times – hugely,’ he said.
‘Hopefully those stuff ups have not been irreversible or been detrimental to someone to an extent where it’s actually irreversible damage.’
In the wake of the tragedy, locals and loved ones have been dropping off flowers and children’s toys at the Essington Street home.
The 40-year-old is seen with his two children whose lives he tragically cut short on Friday evening
A woman who had baby sat Kohan and Lily since they were infants was heartbroken to learn of the shocking news.
‘I have been crying all morning,’ the woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told The West Australian.
‘It’s just so sad. I babysat them, I used to look after them all the time. I watched them when they were babies.
‘They were just normal kids. They were cute, full of energy and happy all the time.’
Mr Gunathilaka worked as a town planner and was also a founding member of the Western Australia Royal College Old Boys Association, a group for Sri Lankan graduates of the prestigious private school.
One friend commented on a post made by the father, saying he was ‘sorry I couldn’t save you’, while others posted tributes on their own social media pages.
Assistant Comm Adams described the three deaths as an ‘extreme tragedy’.
‘The exact cause of death and the circumstances will be thoroughly investigated and this will take some time, but I can tell you at this stage we are treating this incident as a double murder suicide,’ he said.
‘It’s extremely difficult to comprehend what’s occurred. We can only begin to imagine the trauma caused to the family.’
He said the first responders to the scene will be provided with ‘the highest level of care and support’.
Two officers reportedly had to be comforted away from the scene.
‘Obviously it’s extremely traumatic for them to be confronted with these scenes,’ he said.
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The father opened up about his depression with friends on his personal Facebook page