People hug outside a house on Barton Rd in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula, where the bodies of a woman and child were found.
People hug outside a house on Barton Rd in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula, where the bodies of a woman and child were found. Simon Cross

Dad finds bodies of wife, son in suspected murder-suicide

A TINY Yorke Peninsula coastal community has been left shattered by the death of a "happy-go-lucky" little boy and his mother in a suspected murder-suicide.

Mick Sutton discovered his new wife, Rose, 42, and stepson, Jacob, 7, dead inside their Barton St, Tiddy Widdy Beach home when he arrived about 8am Monday morning to take the boy to school.

Police are continuing to investigate the deaths and said no one else was being sought over the incident.

It is understood Mr Sutton and Rose were recently married and Jacob was a student at Ardrossan Area School.

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Police at a home on Barton Rd at Tiddy Widdy Beach.
Police at a home on Barton Rd at Tiddy Widdy Beach. Simon Cross

The tragedy sent shockwaves through the small town, near Ardrossan, home to about 200 people. Family friend and local resident Rod Saler said he was shocked and saddened.

"Mick rang me (this) morning, he was very upset," he said.

People hug outside a house on Barton Rd in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula, where the bodies of a woman and child were found. Picture: Simon Cross

People hug outside a house on Barton Rd in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula, where the bodies of a woman and child were found. Picture: Simon CrossSource:News Corp Australia

"He just said that he was going to take Jacob to school and he found them like they were. He was devastated - he couldn't believe it."

Mr Saler described Rose as "very friendly and a lovely lady", saying she "loved" being a fulltime mother.

He said Jacob was a "good little boy". "He was a very happy-go-lucky little fella, very active as any child that age is," he said.

 

Police at the scene on Barton Road in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula where the bodies of a woman and child were found inside a house.
Police at the scene on Barton Road in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula where the bodies of a woman and child were found inside a house. Simon Cross

Mr Saler said the family had moved to Tiddy Widdy Beach about a year ago and had been planning to renovate a bus to travel around Australia.

Police at the scene on Barton Road in Tiddy Widdy Beach, on Yorke Peninsula where the bodies of a woman and child were found inside a house. Picture: Simon Cross

"(They) were both doing the bus up and they were going to travel with Jacob," he said.

Mr Saler said news of the deaths "knocks a town like this to pieces" but the community would rally around Mr Sutton.
One local, who did not wish to be named, said the deaths would hit the town hard.

"It's going to affect (the community) greatly," she said.

"We're a small community so everything affects us all whether we know the people personally or (we just give) a passing wave."

The woman, who has a young daughter, said it was going to be difficult for local parents to explain to their children what happened.

"All the kids know each other," she said.

"It's not going to be easy for them, especially having to learn about (the incident).

"Children around here aren't usually touched by things like that, so ... it's going to be quite hard for them."

While the cause of death was still under investigation, the woman said more mental health services were needed in country SA.

"There is no support for mental health at all in the country," she said. "We get forgotten about greatly."

An Education Department spokesman said support would be provided to those affected at the Jacob's school.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family and wider community," he said. "Counsellors will attend the child's school to provide support to classmates and teaching staff and will be available for as long as necessary."

SA Police Operations Inspector Allison Clark said the incident was "tragic for everyone involved".

Police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

News Corp Australia

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