Girl’s heartbreaking video message to dad
Four-year-old Laianah Baxter who was burned to death in a horrific SUV blaze alongside her mum and two siblings sent a heartbreaking video to her dad before he killed them, telling how much she loved him.
She, along with Aaliyah, 6, and Trey, 3, was found dead inside the burning vehicle on Raven St in Brisbane's Camp Hill at around 8.30am on Wednesday.
Her mother, Hannah, 31, was rushed to hospital but later died of her injuries.
Witnesses say her father, Rowan Baxter, 42, jumped into his estranged wife's car on a school run, setting fire to it before stabbing himself to death.
His Facebook page was filled with pictures of his children who he described as his "world".
One video Mr Baxter shared around a year ago showed "little middle" Laianah sending him a heartfelt message from her mother's phone.
"Hi Dad I miss you. I miss you at work," the young girl said before wrestling for the phone with her elder sister. "I miss you so much and love you so, so much."
Baxter captioned the video: "Found this on my wife's phone, my little middle missing her daddy at work.
"Priceless words before the older one jumps in to take over then listen to @hannbaxter in the background. Classic Baxter household antics."
Just one year later she was killed by the man she loved so much.
It is understood Mr Baxter, a former New Zealand Warriors player, was in a custody battle with Ms Baxter, according to The Courier-Mail.
Mr Baxter's recent posts on Facebook all revolve around his children, with him sharing multiple photos of the kids and writing, "Daddy loves you".
One of Mr Baxter's Facebook friends posted on one of his photos telling him to keep his "chin up".
" … everything will work out just hang in there my bro a lot of people care about you and the situation your facing," he wrote.
In one video from January 8 he can be seen wrestling with his young son and pretends to break his neck.
A woman filming the video can be heard laughing along with the children as they play, however the youngest boy, Trey, ends up in tears.
The video is captioned: "Sweet dreams my babies xo. Love you to the moon and back #nowords #dad #myworld."
Queensland Police said it was too early to tell whether Wednesday's incident was a murder- suicide or an accident, although one witness said Ms Baxter had run from the car screaming, "He's poured petrol on me".
Detectives are still trying to establish how the fire started.
"How the fire actually occurred has not been ascertained at the moment, so for us to call it a murder-suicide or a tragic accident, it's inappropriate at this stage," Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said.
"I've seen some horrific scenes - this is up there with some of the best of them. It's a terrible thing to be presented with."
Neighbours reported hearing multiple explosions before seeing the SUV engulfed in flames in Raven Street about 8.30am on Wednesday.
Neighbour Murray Campbell said he heard a number of loud bangs. It was just horrible, multiple explosions, very loud," he told AAP. A man who tried to help at the scene was also taken to hospital with facial burns.
The Baxters owned a fitness business called Integr8 and are believed to have separated before Christmas last year. The family was not involved in any Family Court or Federal Court proceedings.
Mr Baxter was a member of the New Zealand Warriors NRL squad in the mid-2000s but did not play a first-grade game. His estranged wife was a trampolining champion.
Childhood Domestic Violence Australia CEO Tracy McLeod Howe said it was a tragedy.
"I'm not going to particularly talk about this family, it would be inappropriate, but in the history of families where I have seen this occur and he (the father) has been a good bloke," she told Nine Network on Thursday.
Additional reporting by AAP