Death at Pine Ridge Road. A motorist died following a medical episode. Photo by Richard Gosling
Death at Pine Ridge Road. A motorist died following a medical episode. Photo by Richard Gosling

The tragic past of car death victim

THE woman who died on the side of a Gold Coast road, had years earlier made the grisly discovery of the murder-suicide of her sister and nephew at the hands of her father.

Tara Jade Sharpley, 23, died on Wednesday afternoon after a medical incident in a car on Pine Ridge Road, Coombabah.

Despite the best efforts of police who performed CPR on her, she could not be saved.

A post mortem was being conducted on Ms Sharpley yesterday, with her cause of death expected to be known in coming days.

Double murder-suicide in Biddeston near Toowoomba of Krissy (Kris-Deann) Sharpley and her son Jackson.
Double murder-suicide in Biddeston near Toowoomba of Krissy (Kris-Deann) Sharpley and her son Jackson.

Ms Sharpley's short life had been shattered by the murder of her pregnant sister Kris-Deann, 27, and seven-year-old nephew Jackson, at the hands of her father, Derek Sharpley, who then killed himself.

On March 2, 2015, Ms Sharpley had gone to her father's Biddeston home to collect clothes with her then boyfriend.

When she couldn't get in, the pregnant 19-year-old climbed through a window.

At the time of the investigation Ms Sharpley's boyfriend Allan Brown said he heard her screaming after she entered the home to find clothes.

Police and paramedics at Coombabah. Photo by Richard Gosling
Police and paramedics at Coombabah. Photo by Richard Gosling

"She was screaming 'they've been murdered, they've been murdered'," Mr Brown said.

When he went inside he saw the bodies.

"The gun was lying on the bed, I was stepping on the bullets on the way in," he said.

"I didn't know if they were alive or not. So I went across the road and rang emergency and they said go and do CPR but it was way too late.

"It was something I will never forget."

What she was confronted inside that home was a crime that shocked the small Darling Downs community.

Photo of Krissy (Kris-Deann) Sharpley and her son Jackson Sharpley
Photo of Krissy (Kris-Deann) Sharpley and her son Jackson Sharpley

Her nephew Jackson was tucked in bed, motionless, his lifeless body showed no visible injuries. She found her sister Kris-Deann shot dead in the bathroom of the home.

Her father Derek was found with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He'd used a high-powered .223 rifle.

He had killed them the day before, it was a Sunday. Neighbours reported hearing three gunshots ringing out in the small town outside of Toowoomba, but they thought it was to do with wild animals.

Detective Inspector David Isherwood oversaw the investigation and at the time said there was no evidence to indicate who died first.

Tara Sharpley died while a friend was driving a car in Coombabah. Photo by Richard Gosling
Tara Sharpley died while a friend was driving a car in Coombabah. Photo by Richard Gosling

"There is a scenario more likely the child may have been the person who died first but we really don't know," he said.

It's understood Kris-Deann had moved back to Biddeston from Toowoomba to care for her father, following the death of her mother Elizabeth in 2011.

She had died next to Derek in their bed.

It was reported in 2015 that her father was known to police for substance abuse and mental health problems.

Kris-Deann was on maternity leave from her job as a nurse, preparing for the birth of her daughter, who she was going to name Amber Elizabeth Rose.

A year before her death Kris-Deann posted a heartfelt birthday message to Tara, "wishing my little sister a very big happy 19th birthday wherever she may be! Love ya mouse Sis, Dad and Jack Xx"

Family members started posting on social media yesterday afternoon as word started to spread of the 23-year-old's death.

Her passing came as a shock to those who affectionately knew her as "Mouse", with many not finding out until late yesterday.

Tyrone Sharpley said "RIP cuz we are all going to miss ya cuz I love ya and will miss you".

Tara's cousin Ash wrote "R.I.P Mouse you are going to be missed so so sorry gone to soon but never will be forgotten love you love ya big cuz Ash x."

If you need someone to talk to phone Lifeline on 13 11 14



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