An Australian dad jumped off a 118-foot structure called the “Whispering Wall” while clutching his 9-month-old daughter in a shock
An Australian dad jumped off a 118-foot structure called the “Whispering Wall” while clutching his 9-month-old daughter in a shocking murder-suicide.
Police in South Australia responded to the acoustic retaining wall at the Barossa Reservoir in Williamstown at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after witnesses reported a man and an infant in a carrier going over the edge, news.com.au reported.
Authorities have identified the pair as 38-year-old Henry Shepherdson and his daughter, Kobi, according to the news outlet.
Shepherdson was found dead and his unresponsive daughter died despite the efforts of bystanders and paramedics at the scene.
Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Parrott said the preliminary investigation revealed a history of domestic violence between Shepherdson and Kobi’s mother, who released several photographs of the girl and asked for privacy at this “sad and tragic time.”
“Every relationship is a complex thing, particularly when there is also domestic violence involved in the relationship,” Parrott reporters Thursday.
“And whilst I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of this particular situation, that will certainly form part of our investigation as to what was happening in the relationship and obviously, what was done prior to this particular incident,” he said.
“(But) we have a beautiful face, which could probably be the face of domestic violence moving forward,” Parrott added.
He said Shepherdson had lawful access to his daughter during ongoing legal proceedings, including a court appearance Tuesday in which the father tried to overturn an order that banned him from contacting his family, according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
In December, a court had banned him from being within 200 meters of his family, and from publishing any material about them online after he was accused of domestic violence offenses, the Sun reported.
“The baby was not taken … but certainly the mother did contact triple 0 as well,” Parrott said, referring to Australia’s version of 911.
“My understanding is there was a very short time frame between the public notifying us of the incident having occurred and Kobi’s mother making contact,” he added.
“We have reached out to witnesses … We have to not only look after the families directly involved in this, but those people who are witnesses,” Parrott continued, news.com.au reported.
The Whispering Wall, which serves as a retaining wall for the Barossa Reservoir, attracts visitors for its unique acoustic effects in which “words whispered on one side can be clearly heard on the other, more than 100 metres away,” according to the Barossa Australia website.