Damien and Melissa Little with sons Koda, 4 (front left) and Hunter, nine months.
Damien and Melissa Little with sons Koda, 4 (front left) and Hunter, nine months.

Murder-suicide dad battling 'demons', parents say

THE parents of the man who drove his two young children off a pier say he had secretly battled inner demons as his family and friends tried to get him help.

Damien Little wanted to be the "perfect" father to his two young sons and a dependable husband for his wife.

But over the past three years, relatives and close friends noticed a change in his demeanour and personality.

The 34-year-old Pt Lincoln family man died alongside his sons, Koda, 4, and 10-month-old Hunter, after he drove his white Ford station wagon from the main wharf of the Eyre Peninsula fishing town.

Koda Little, 4, and his brother Hunter Little, 10 months
Koda Little, 4, and his brother Hunter Little, 10 months

His devastated parents, Sue, 58 and Ken, 67, told The Advertiser of their distress after their son, a qualified carpet layer and experienced B-double petrol tanker driver, spiralled into a "dark" space from the fun-loving and "vibrant" young boy who grew up on a farm.

Mrs Little urged others with depression, or any other mental illness, to seek help.

"He was a much-loved member of the community and very much loved by his family ... I just don't think he realised how much people loved him," said Mrs Little.

"He was very particular about everything he did.

"I think he wanted to be perfect - he wanted to be a perfect father and husband. He wanted to do everything right. He was very hard on himself.

"He wanted to live a perfect life. Over the past three years he had a bit of a problem, we had noticed a change. When we saw (it) the whole family tried to help him. He had a lot of people offering help. We tried to help him, we all did. But you can't help somebody who can't help himself."

The family are battling to come to terms with what happened.

"He obviously wasn't himself that day. No one will ever know why he did it. But he is our son and we loved him dearly. He was a beautiful kid, loving, caring. We are just broken."

Anyone experiencing personal difficulties can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au


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