Police have spent a fifth day examining the farm where Peter Miles shot and killed six members of his family before turning the gun on himself.
Forensic officers and homicide detectives were again at the Osmington Road property, 20km east of Margaret River, yesterday, as they continue to search for answers as to what triggered Friday’s shocking events. It is understood police will remain at the farm for at least two more days but could also return later in the investigation.
Neighbours said that Peter and Cynda Miles bought the 11ha farm with the aim to build a self-sufficient lifestyle that included producing a big amount of their own food.
However, they said that more recently it was believed Mr Miles had been struggling with depression. Police say the 61-year-old shot and killed his daughter Katrina Miles, 35, and four grandchildren: Taye Cockman, 13, Rylan Cockman, 12, Ayre Cockman, 10, and Kayden Cockman, 8, who were sleeping in a converted shed on the property.
Mr Miles then returned to the main house and shot 58-year-old Cynda before taking his own life. The deaths shocked the tight-knit community of Margaret River.
Community leaders met again yesterday to discuss a public memorial service for the family but a decision on whether it will go ahead is yet to be made. It is believed organisers are seeking the approval of the victims’ families.
The development comes a day after the Cockman children’s father Aaron Cockman met Shire of Augusta-Margaret River representatives to tell them of his funeral plans.
A friend yesterday started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family’s funerals on behalf of the South West home-schooling community.
“Katrina Miles and her children were much loved and valued members of the South West home-schooling community,” the page says.
“Her tragic death has had a huge impact on so many people, most of all, those left behind. The Miles family are now planning a funeral.
“Please help us in helping them to say goodbye to the ones they love without the financial burden involved.”
By late yesterday the page had raised $2060.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14