Warning: This post contains details of suicide and may be distressing for some readers. If you need help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
High-profile euthanasia advocate Phillip Nitschke has backpedalled on claims that the father of the family-of-four found dead on Monday had previously contacted his organisation for advice on suicide.
Fernando Manrique is believed to have rigged up an elaborate gas chamber in his Davidson home where he, his wife Maria Lutz and their two severely autistic children, Elisa, 11, and Martin, 10, children died on Sunday.
Nitschke earlier told The Australian that Manrique downloaded his e-book The Peaceful Pill Handbook, which includes a chapter about suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
But the controversial doctor has now changed his story.
Speaking to Fairfax this morning, Nitschke said when he re-checked his organisation’s database, he discovered it was a different man with the same surname that had, in fact, downloaded the e-book.
“Fernando Manrique did not access our book,” he said.
Nitschke’s organisation, Exit International was founded in 1997, under the premise that suicide is a fundamental human right.
It’s a stance that’s earned Nitschke the nickname “Dr Death”.
Philip Nitschke has backpedalled on claims Mr Manrique contacted his group.
Manrique reportedly set up an elaborate system of pipes throughout his ceiling, a system so elaborate, police sources have said it must have taken much pre-planning.
Whether this was a suicide pact between a husband and wife or a murder-suicide, authorities are still investigating.
Manrique, a business executive, was found dead in one room while his 43-year-old wife was found dead in bed with their daughter.
Their son was found alone in his bed in a separate bedroom.
Both children were autistic, deaf and mute.
Ms Lutz pictured with Martin and Elisa. Via Facebook.
Dr Nitschke earlier told the media he had “never had a situation to my knowledge where a family has come to us wanting advice on how to end all their lives, and obviously if that did happen, we would be very cautious”.
“The surprise to us was that given this family is from Bogota, which is one of the few places in the world where you can buy ... suicide drugs ... over the counter, it’s a surprise that he used carbon monoxide,” he said.