Lauren Dickason, mother accused of murdering her three children appears in court

Lauren Dickason, the mother who is accused of murdering her three children has been remanded in custody after appearing in court on Saturday. 

Dickason, who didn't get name suppression, appeared in Timaru District Court where Judge Dominic Dravitzki remanded her in custody to a secure forensic mental health unit until October 5.

There was no application for bail and she faces three charges of murder. An application for name suppression was withdrawn during the hearing. 

Dickason was dressed in a grey hooded top and black trousers, she looked at the ground for most of the hearing. 

Her three children, twins Maya and Karla and their sister Liane 6 were found dead at around 10pm on Thursday by their father Graham. 

The 40-year old Lauren Dickason was taken to Timaru Hospital where she was later charged with murder. 

 The family had recently completed MIQ after arriving from South Africa and had settled in the South Island town. 

The parents are both doctors and the father, an orthopedic surgeon, found his children dead when he returned to their Queen St home.  

Area commander Insp Dave Gaskin said on Friday the incident "will be incredibly distressing for Timaru residents, particularly coming so soon after the town lost five of their young people in a crash", even if the family hadn't been in town very long.  

"Police are working with our partner agencies to ensure that support is wrapped around those most directly affected by the tragic events of last night, and the wider community and we urge anyone who needs support to reach out."

Police said forensics expert were taking their time, still investigating the scene on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to Newshub earlier on Friday, neighbours say they were watching television on Thursday night when they "heard sort of a noise like a deep moan".

Jade and Rob Whaley say they went outside to investigate, but couldn't see anything of interest. They went back inside and about five minutes later heard "a loud bang", prompting them to go back out.

"We couldn't see the spotlight had come on so we knew someone wasn't on the property," Rob says. "It sorta sounds liked a car door being slammed or a car being kicked. We couldn't hear anything so we went back inside again."

But while they were inside, Jade said they heard more moaning "going on and on", perhaps from the offender. 

"They were moaning and making lots of noise like, 'What have I done?'" 

The police arrived shortly afterwards.