1. Sydney father was having an affair when he killed himself and his family.
A Sydney father was in financial strife and having an affair with a teenager in the Philippines when he killed himself and his family, an inquest has been told.
Fernando Manrique, 44 and his wife Maria Lutz, 43, were about to divorce when they were found dead along with their children Elisa, 11, and Martin, 10, and the family dog Tequila, in their northern Sydney home in October 2016.
They all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
At the opening of an inquest into their deaths at Lidcombe Coroners Court, counsel assisting Adam Casselden said there was “little cause for doubt” that Mr Manrique was responsible.
“He had planned the deaths of his family over the course of some time,” Mr Casselden said on Monday.
“Maria had no awareness of, or involvement in, Fernando’s plans.”
The court heard Ms Lutz was a “dedicated, loving mother” to her two autistic children.
She was excited about the possibility of going back to work after finding out they would be receiving $50,000 from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“She was looking forward to life without Fernando,” Detective Sergeant Timothy Pooley told the inquest.
Det Sgt Pooley said this funding meant Ms Lutz “would’ve been better off than she had been for years”.
Mr Manrique, meanwhile, was in “dire straits” financially, Det Sgt Pooley said.