Killer dad’s lonely life before horror revealed
ROWAN Baxter had become a virtual recluse since separating from his wife Hannah in early December, his neighbours have revealed.
A neighbour of the Baxters said the couple lived at a rental house on Bridgnorth Street at Carindale for two years, but separated in early December.
"(Baxter) had been basically home on his own, except he had the kids for one Sunday about three weeks ago," the neighbour said.
Baxter had become reclusive, the neighbour said, to the point where he had not taken washing off the line in two months.
It is understood police are looking at whether Baxter suffered a mental breakdown in lead-up to yesterday's ordeal.
Faded sheets, towels and clothes hung in the sun in the Baxters' backyard.
Children's toys and other household items were strewn across the back patio.
The family's shed - which included fitness equipment and tools - was left wide open yesterday morning.
The radio in the main living area could be heard blaring from outside the house.
The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he saw a dark coloured SUV at the house on Tuesday night.
The SUV was not Baxter's usual vehicle, the neighbour said.
The neighbour noticed the strange vehicle when he took his garbage out about 3am yesterday.
Someone then left in the SUV sometime between 6am and 7am Wednesday morning, the neighbour said.
"There was obviously something wrong because (Mrs Baxter) disappeared in early December and he's been home on his own with the dog."
A loved one came to collect the Baxters' family dog some hours after the incident yesterday, the neighbour said.
It's understood Baxter, who owned a gym until last year, was selling walking frames for a living and worked at a warehouse in Brisbane's east.
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"The only time I heard his voice raised was when he was playing with kids, and that was because he was having fun," another neighbour said.
"It sounded like he was pretty close to his kids."