| 20.07,09. 12:56 AM |
Witness link to family's murder
The Sunday Telegraph July 18, 2009 9:30PM
FIVE members of a family were found killed in a home in Sydney's north-west yesterday. The bodies of Epping newsagent Min Lin, 46, his wife Lilly, 44, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, nine, and a 40-year-old woman relative were found about 9.50am.
The only member of the immediate family left alive is the Lins' 15-year-old daughter, Brenda, who is visiting her grandparents in China.
It is understood a relative made the gruesome discovery after walking into the home, in Boundary Rd, North Epping.
Police would not confirm last night how the family died, nor whether they had been victims of a violent home invasion.
They have not ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide.
Acting Superintendent Stephen Henkel, of Eastwood police, said the details surrounding the deaths were unclear.
"It's going to be a long, protracted inquiry,'' he said.
One line of inquiry is that Mr Lin witnessed the armed robbery of an armoured van across the road from his newsagency on May 27 which netted $1.2m.
Detectives yesterday formed Strike Force Norburn, a joint investigation by the Eastwood local area command and the NSW Homicide Squad.
Officers cordoned off the property as shocked neighbours emerged to learn of the news.
Another family member, an uncle believed to live nearby, is assisting with police inquiries.
Classmates of Henry and Terry Lin, who attended Epping Boys High School and Epping North Primary School, described them yesterday as ``great students''.
"Henry was always really nice at school. I'm really sad,'' one school friend said.
A hand-written sign that read, ``Closed due to family circumstances'' was on the newsagency door yesterday afternoon.
In a profile in a local newspaper in January, Mr Lin revealed he was a mechanical engineer who bought the newsagency six years ago because he wanted to run his own business.
Asked to nominate the biggest challenge he faced, he said: "The risk of going under because of supermarkets and other businesses. The global economy going bad is also a problem, because people spend less.''
Mr Lin said the best part of the job was ``getting to know the regular customers and speaking with them each day''.
A neighbouring shopkeeper said the family had run the business for the past five or six years.
"Mainly he worked in the shop, and sometimes the wife. They kept to themselves,'' the local said.
Police would not confirm yesterday whether the perpetrator of the murders was among the dead or still at large.
A chaplain was brought in to comfort officers, who are understood to be deeply distressed.