A father drowned his six-year-old daughter in a bath before arranging her lifeless body in a bed next to the bodies of her pet dogs before killing himself, an inquest has heard.
Darren Flux-Edmonds, 44, was looking after his daughter, Keziah, in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight on 1 June when she was found lifeless.
The inquest heard how Darren was found hanged in the loft of the family home in Cromwell Avenue, after sending Keziah's estranged mother, Nikki Flux-Edmonds, a text message that read: "You have left me with nothing. I'll leave you with only memories."
When Nikki received the text she dialled 999, and when police arrived at the home 28 minutes later they found the two bodies along with two dead pet dogs. Keziah was lying on her bed in her favourite pyjamas with her arms wrapped around her two dogs, Arnie and Maximus, with all three dripping wet.
According to the BBC, the inquest concluded that Keziah was unlawfully killed and that her father killed himself, with coroner Caroline Sumeray describing the deaths as "totally unforeseeable". She told Keziah's mother Nikki: "He took everything that was precious to you. He knew what he was going to do."
Nikki said she had been a "child full of happiness". In a statement read to the hearing, she said: "I would never have left Keziah alone with Darren had I thought he would hurt her. My world is over, I have nothing left."
According to the Mirror, Nikki said: "He seemed different, he was quiet. He always asked me if I had thought about getting back with him but he didn't ask. I felt he wasn't happy. I was only going to be gone an hour and thought it would be fine. I asked if he felt alright and he said he felt unwell, I said I could take Keziah, he said he was feeling unwell but would be fine."
She added: "There was never a moment when Darren could not see Keziah. She loved Darren. She thought the sun shone out of him. My world is over. I have nothing left, my whole life was Keziah. She was my only chance of having a child. I did everything to make her happy and I have nothing left."
The inquest, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court, heard that Darren had suffered from "recurrent depression" and previously tried to kill himself by climbing a tree with a noose. The BBC added that he had been assessed by his GP as a "priority" patient two weeks before the tragedy. A serious case review is due to be published.