Relatives and friends farewelled the Lutz-Manrique family in their funeral at Sydney upper north shores in Wahroonga, two weeks after Police discovered their bodies inside their home in Davidson. Maria Lutz, 43, husband Fernando Manrique, 44 and their children Martin and Elisa, were suspected to be victims of deliberate gas poisoning as a gas set-up was also found in the ceiling.
Shocked members of the St. Lucy’s School community also joined the mourners. Both children of the Lutz-Manrique family had autism and attended the said school at Wahroonga. The family’s funeral directors in Sydney arranged a solemn requiem mass at the Holy Name Catholic Church despite the streaming of grieving friends and relatives, emotionally remembering the much-adored Lutz-Manrique family. Relatives of Maria Lutz, mostly arriving in Sydney from Colombia, remembered her as a woman of tenacity and resilience, and a very loving mother to Martin and Elisa.
Suspected gas murder-suicide
Their home in Davidson was forced entered by the police after the school alerted the authorities when Mrs. Lutz did not show up for Canteen duty. Reports have earlier suggested that house pipes which carried Carbon Monoxide lead to the tragic incident. Witnesses also said they saw Mr. Manrique building a pipe network into their roof which points the investigation to be possibly a murder-suicide. Friends of Mrs. Lutz also testified that she pleaded her husband that they return to her family in Colombia to get help from them in caring for their autistic children, but Mr. Manrique refused.
Disability did not cause deaths
Warren Hopley, Principal of St. Lucy’s School, commended Mr. Manrique who have, in no doubt, loved his children. He added that the matter on why he snapped should not be blamed on the children’s disability. Josie Gigliotti, the parent of Elisa’s classmate, said Maria Lutz also did not show any hints of difficulty in coping.
Tragedy exposure may help spread awareness
The family expressed they make no judgments and do not blame anyone for the circumstances which lead to the Lutz-Manrique family’s death. Though further exposure could only add to their pain, they hoped that this will bring awareness on the psychological, economic and social stresses that parents of children with autism bears.
Relatives requested the funeral directors in Sydney for a private cremation before they take the remains back to Colombia.