An inquest into the death of 6-year-old Keziah Flux-Edmonds, who died back in June of this year, has today (Tuesday) concluded she was unlawfully killed by her father Darren Flux-Edmonds, who committed suicide by hanging.
“I will leave you with nothing but memories” – that was the chilling end to a text message sent by Darren to his wife of 12 years, Nikki, as he drowned their own 6-year-old daughter in a bath of cold water before then taking his own life.
Today’s inquest in Newport heard how on the morning of 1st June this year, Darren visited the family home at Cromwell Avenue, East Cowes to look after his daughter Keziah – who was born with a heart defect – whilst his wife, Nikki, went to work. Darren arrived at around 08:50 but seemed ‘different’ and ‘quiet’, although Nikki had no concerns that he was to harm himself or Keziah. When questioned if he was OK, Darren replied that he ‘didn’t feel well’ and was ‘alright but tired’.
During counselling sessions for depression with a NHS Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, Darren admitted that he had nightmares about killing his wife and daughter, although said he never would. The coroner said today that she is satisfied that health professionals acted properly and professionally in assessing the risks of Filiside – a rare occurance when a parent kills their own child.
Darren, who was listed by Police as a vulnerable person following previous suicide attempts, has been described by his own mother, June Flux, as a loner with no friends. He separated from his wife Nikki earlier in the year as he thought she was having an affair, which she was not.
Around 25 minutes after leaving for work as planned, Nikki Flux-Edmonds received a text message from her husband at 09:56. A few minutes later she read the chilling message, delayed as she was driving at the time. The message began with “Congratulations you have finally…” – the rest of the text message was not read out in today’s inquest. It ended with “I will leave you nothing but memories”.
Fearing for the safety of her daughter and husband, Nikki alerted Police at 10:09 but it took some 27 minutes for the first officers to arrive at her home address in East Cowes, by which time Nikki herself had driven home via the Cowes Floating Bridge. Officers were at first incorrectly and momentarily mobilised to Darren’s home address in Gunville, Newport. Nikki questioned in court why it took so long for Police to arrive at the property, however no direct answer was given.
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Upon arrival at 110 Cromwell Avenue, officers discovered the body of Darren hanging from the rafters in the loft by a strap. PC Rumsey and PC Fletcher utilised a cabinet to give leverage and used a knife from the kitchen to cut the noose from around his neck, but it was already too late to save his life.
Moments later the officers discovered the lifeless body of Keziah on her bed alongside the bodies of 2 dogs, Arnie and Maximus. They had all been drowned in a bath of cold water and then posed on the bed, Keziah’s arms around each dog. Her face and lips were blue with frothing around the mouth and both her hands and feet were cold to the touch.
The raw emotion of the situation was broadcast on Police radios as the first-on-scene officers requested for assistance.
Police and paramedics battled to bring Keziah back to life and soon rushed her to hospital, but tragically the youngster was declared dead at 12:10 following considerable advanced life-saving efforts. She died as a result of drowning.
A post-mortem examination concluded there were no signs of any attack or restraint and no signs that Keziah attempted to struggle.
Throughout today’s inquest Nikki held a framed photograph of a smiling Keziah, described as being Nikki’s world.
Nikki spoke to confirm that she felt the tragic incident was planned as Darren was dyslexic and couldn’t text with complex language, but the text she received that morning was clear that he had used a speech-to-text system to pre-write the message, possibly the night before.
Caroline Sumeray, senior coroner for the Isle of Wight said that the Police officers involved the incident should be commended publicly for their bravery and courage. They fought for Nikki’s welfare.
Concluding, Ms Sumeray said to both Nikki Flux-Edmonds and June Flux:
“You have my deepest sympathies on your loss. You have both conducted yourselves with great dignity and courage.
“You must not blame yourself for what has happened. It was unforeseeable”.
The coroner recorded Darren Flux-Edmond’s death as suicide and Keziah’s death as unlawful killing.
Help is at hand when you need it – you don’t have to be suicidal to get in touch.