Mother, 33, jumps off cliff with 2-year-old daughter after separating from partner; family 'shaken to the core'
A German mother jumped off a cliff with her two-year-old daughter in her arms and the authorities are treating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
Tanja Ludwig, 33, and her daughter Tilly were found Tuesday night at the base of a cliff near tourist destination Robertson Lookout at Mt. Keira, near Wollongong, Australia, Daily Mail reports.
Ludwig shared a message directed at people suffering from mental health issues in one of her final social posts on December 17, 2018. "It's OK not to be OK. We all need support sometimes," she wrote, furnishing alongside phone numbers offering 24x7 support and counseling.
As of now, law enforcement is preparing a report for the coroner and treating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
Ludwig had recently separated from her partner and was living with her daughter in Coniston, a Wollongong suburb.
In a conversation with Daily Mail Australia, a relative of Ludwig's estranged partner said his family was shaken to the core.
"Think about the person closest to you, and you found them at the bottom of a cliff... It's beyond horrible," he said, after visiting the scene on Tuesday afternoon. "Two beautiful human lives have been ripped away."
Athena Kinnas, Ludwig's neighbor "couldn't believe" she and her daughter were gone.
"I feel shaken," she said. "When I heard the news last night, I said to my husband 'poor thing, who did that to her' and then this morning I found out...I'm gonna miss her."
According to Kinnas, Ludwig hadn't shown any signs of struggling in the days leading up to her demise."She was a nice person," she said. "Each time I talk to her, she was happy."
Investigators scoured the scene of the tragedy Wednesday morning and retraced Ludwig and her child's final movements before their fall.
Paramedics were eventually winched down the steep cliff on Tuesday night until they reached the bodies during a slow and long recovery procedure.
According to Wollongong Police district commander Superintendent Chris Craner, the recovery mission would be dangerous.
"It's steep, it's hectic, we've got police coming in from the low side, police trekking down from the high side and the consideration of the helicopter," he said. "It's a treacherous, dangerous area we need to get to respectfully get these people out."
Speaking of the family, Superintendent Craner extended his prayers and applauded the work conducted by the emergency services.
"It's going to be absolutely devastating for the community who don't know these people and hear this and what it's about," he said.
Wollongong Police continue to investigate the tragic scene.