A Melbourne, Australia, father was arrested and charged with murder after allegedly dropping his four year old daughter off of Melbourne’s 190-foot high West Gate Bridge during the morning rush hour. 36-year-old Arthur Phillip Freeman allegedly threw his four-year-old daughter off the bridge in front of the girl’s two young brothers, ages 6 and 8, and dozens of motorists.
Witnesses said Freeman allegedly stopped his car suddenly just after 9 AM and, with his daughter Darcey Iris in his arms, walked to the side of the bridge. There he allegedly dropped his young daughter over the side of the bridge into the waters of the Yarra River, 190 feet below.
Freeman then reportedly got back into the large white family Land Cruiser, and simply drove away. Shocked drivers who witnessed the alleged murder immediately called emergency hotlines. Police stated the entire incident occurred in merely seconds.
Young Darcey initially survived her fall, and she was pulled from the water by police within 10 minutes. Paramedics spent the next 50 minutes resuscitating her on the banks of the Yarra River.
Then Darcey, in a critical condition, was lifted by helicopter to the nearby Royal Children’s Hospital where she was treated for four hours. However, a Royal Children’s Hospital spokeswoman said the young girl soon died at 1.35pm on Thursday, January 29th.
Regarding the bridge incident, Victoria homicide squad Detective Inspector Steve Clark said, “It all happened fairly quickly…no one had the opportunity to intervene”.
“He’s got straight out of the car and taken the young girl and walked to the edge of the bridge, so that would have happened in a matter of seconds.”
“It’s a dreadful set of circumstances and, often you think you’ve seen it all and you haven’t.”
Freeman and his wife had been in the middle of a custody battle. He was spotted, accompanied by his two sons, Benjamin, 7, and Jack, 23 months (ages of Freeman‘s children have varied in different reports), outside the Commonwealth Law Courts across town in central Melbourne only an hour after the bridge incident.
He was reportedly in a “visibly distressed” state and was then arrested by police. A member of the court’s staff said the man was crying and looked like “he’d had enough”.
The first video is a report of the incident by “The Australian” Newspaper:
Fox news reported that the security staff at the courts building said Freeman “was shaking like a leaf, and staring with wild eyes” when they initially spotted him and alerted police. Police took him into custody peacefully, but said they were initially unaware he was involved in the bridge incident.
One witness reported that Freeman approached court security guards and ask them “Can you take my kids for me?” while he was led away by police
The next video is an Associated Press report of the murder:
Another witness saw four police officers, two of them holding evidence bags, lead the handcuffed Freeman to a waiting Police van.
The man, whom she described as balding, was “shaking violently”.
“He was pretty down and he had the two other children with him and he tried to enter the court. He couldn’t talk to anyone, he wouldn’t talk to anyone, he was just a mess,” said another eye witness Vince Mascia.
One of the witnesses said the man was shaking uncontrollably and looked like he was “about to have a nervous breakdown”.
The third video is a report by the Telegraph in Great Britain:
About half-an-hour later, a couple at the courthouse saw the arrival of a woman they believed to be the mother of the two boys, who subsequently took them away.
Freeman was charged with murder and set to appear before a criminal court. He was deemed “suicidal” by court psychiatrists and the court remanded him into custody.