Warning: Distressing content
On Wednesday afternoon, tourists at the Whispering Walls Dam in Williamston witnessed something absolutely horrific. Around 4.30pm a man with an infant in a child carrier “jumped off the wall”.
Onlookers immediately contacted the police but the man was found dead when police arrived. Paramedics were unable to save the baby girl.
Now SA Police have issued some details surrounding the tragic situation, deeming it a murder-suicide.
Police have now confirmed the victim was a nine-month-old little girl named Kobi and her father, Henri Shepherdson, 38.
They have also shared a few photos of Kobi, on behalf of her mother.
It has come to light that Shepherdson, of Torrensville, had been in court just hours earlier, seeking permission to have contact with his family. It appears he’d been subject to court-imposed conditions on his movements and internet use for a four-month period.
He was accused of domestic violence-related offences in December last year, with the court banning him at the time of being within 200m of his family, or for publishing anything on the internet about them either.
Police released today that several domestic violence reports had been made prior to this, with court processes in place. Yesterday, Shepherdson’s application to vary both these conditions was heard, with the matter being ‘deferred’ to the Abuse Prevention Program – one of the Courts Administration Authority’s specialist “intervention” initiatives.
The program ‘diverts’ participants away from the standard court process so that they can undergo counselling and treatment aimed at improving their rehabilitation prospects.
Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott said Kobi was attached to Shepherdson, 38, in a baby carrier when members of the public saw him jump from the 36-metre high Whispering Wall, a popular tourist attraction near Williamstown in SA’s Barossa Valley.
The dam is now closed to the public and will remain so for now.
According to Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott,
Our very early investigation has shown some history of domestic violence involved with this family,”
We have been speaking with the mother in relation to this matter, and no one else is being sought in relation to these deaths.
This is a highly distressing and emotional incident that has and is affecting people who witnessed this incident, those who tried to help Kobi, emergency services personnel, family and friends.”
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.