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Father of children killed in suspected murder-suicide claims grandfather planned the deadly shooting

“He gave them to me and now he’s taken them away, if it had to happen, there is no better person than that,” the grieving father said of his estranged father-in-law

The father of the four autistic children gunned down with their mother and grandmother in Australia earlier this month gave a lengthy and unexpected statement about the tragedy.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Cynda Miles, 58; her daughter, 35-year-old Katrina Miles; and her four autistic children: 13-year-old Taye, 12-year-old Rylan, 10-year-old Ayre and 8-year-old and Kayden were found dead along with their grandfather Peter Miles on a remote farmstead last Friday. Authorities have indicated that they believe the deaths are a result of a murder-suicide, and reported that three firearms recovered from the scene belong to Miles, 61.

While Australian authorities have revealed few details about the investigation, the children’s father gave a candid press conference on Sunday in which he said Peter Miles was responsible.

The Straits Times reports that Aaron Cockman, father to the four murdered children, addressed the media about the apparent murder-suicide on Sunday, revealing details he said he learned from investigators. He also admitted that he and his estranged wife Katrina were going through an acrimonious separation, and said he had been angry at Miles for purportedly cutting off access to his children.

According to News.Au.com, Cockman also said that Miles has been devastated to learn that his son Neil was in bad health with serious kidney problems and was awaiting a transplant. The grieving father said he believed Miles’ son’s health concerns pushed him over the edge, as he had previously lost a son to an apparent suicide.

“I thought if something happens to Neil, Kat will not survive this one, she will not be able to lose another brother,” Cockman told reporters.

“I didn’t think about Cynda and Peter. There’s no way possible he [could] lose another son.”

Cockman reportedly spoke at length speculating about his father-in-law’s motive.

“Peter has been trying to hold it together for a long time. I thought, ‘There’s no way possible he could lose another son, he’ll kill himself’.

“I thought, ‘No he won’t do that either because he’s so close to my kids that he would not leave the kids upset for the rest of their lives about it’.

“But he thought, ‘I can’t live anymore, so this is it for me. But I need to take out everyone because that will fix the whole problem’ and he’s fixed the whole problem.”

According to News.Au.com, Miles had been looking for work just before he died, and posted a classified ad two days before the mass shooting offering his services as a farmhand and handyman.

Cockman said in the news conference that he was no longer angry at his deceased family members.

“I still love who Peter was and as I said, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have Katrina, I wouldn’t have my kids so it’s not some random guy off the street that has taken them from me,” the father said.

“He gave them to me and now he’s taken them away, if it had to happen, there is no better person than that. I wouldn’t want some random guy off the street doing what happened.”

 

[Feature image: Katrina Miles and children/Facebook]