Monday, June 25, 2012

Courier Mail article

TINY Elijah Rainbow Fisher was the baby boy his parents had been waiting for. 
But his short life ended on Saturday night when, police allege, his father David Fisher walked 1km from the family home at Eagleby, pushing his son in a pram, before falling from a pedestrian bridge at the Logan River Parklands with Elijah in his arms.

His father surfaced, but seven-month-old Elijah was lost in the swirling water.

Police will allege Fisher walked back to his home to tell the boy's mother, Lauren Fisher, and Elijah's four older sisters what had happened.

"Elijah's drowned. Elijah's gone," he allegedly told her.

Mrs Fisher made frantic phone calls to her mother in Western Australia, to emergency services and then raced down to the Logan River to search for her lost little boy.

Family members told The Courier-Mail her husband had been "wailing and screaming" in the background when the calls were made, around 6.47pm.

Just more than an hour later, Mrs Fisher posted a heart-rending online farewell: "I was so blessed to meet Elijah Rainbow. 26.11.11 - 23.06.12. I love you, little one. Go with God," she tweeted.

David Fisher, 38, was charged with murder around midnight on Saturday after being interviewed by detectives from Logan CIB.

He was kept in the watchhouse on the weekend and is due to front Beenleigh Magistrates Court this morning.

Water police found Elijah's body yesterday morning on a scrubby bank of the Logan River, roughly 1.5km downstream of the bridge his father allegedly fell from.

Family, friends and neighbours were shocked yesterday, saying the free-living, bohemian life led by the family had been shattered.

Elijah's grandfather, Victor Bissett, said the boy was "the precious son that they'd been waiting for so long".

"He was an active little child, very much loved by his sisters, no problems at all and advanced in many respects in terms of his development," he said.

Grieving family members - including Elijah's other aunt in Hong Kong - were struggling to make sense of the events surrounding the tragedy, Mr Bissett said. "I'm just as overwhelmed as anybody," he said. "We're all trying to come to understand it."

He said Mrs Fisher, just before running out to search frantically for her lost son, made a chilling phone call to her mother Stephanie, telling her: "Elijah has drowned. I need you to come up now."

Both Elijah's parents had strong religious upbringings, but in their adult lives had sought to "unchurch".

They had been together for about 13 years, and followed an alternative lifestyle where they home-schooled their children, had a vegan diet and travelled across Australia and New Zealand on a truck they lived out of for weeks at a time.

Their nomadic lifestyle was funded by renting out their home and a carpet-laying business.

Mrs Fisher, a one-time website designer for the Crime and Misconduct Commission, blogged prolifically on parenthood, her marriage and her family's trials and tribulations via a website.

She talks about seeing Elijah in a vision when she was 19, and being certain her fifth child would be a boy.

"We're a nomadic family with five kids, currently travelling in Australia, re-thinking everything and living free," the webpage says.

Mrs Fisher spent part of her youth in West Africa, in Niger and the Ivory Coast where her mother and father, Christian missionaries, ran an evangelical publishing business.

The family had returned to their home on Eagle Drive less than a fortnight ago from a stay in New Zealand.

They returned periodically to live in the large shed at the rear of the property after leasing out the main house to another family.

Mr Bissett said Lauren, his youngest daughter, was a "very level-headed" woman.

In prolific online posts, she portrays her husband as a devoted family man.

"So thankful for David who manages the kids 100% except for feeding the baby," she wrote on Twitter two months after Elijah's birth.

Only three weeks ago, she wrote: "A week in the bush without internet or electricity (but with babysitting and firebaths!) has been wonderful for our relationship!"

Elijah was born without a doctor or midwife in attendance at a "Rainbow Gathering" on a property near Singleton, northern NSW, on November 26.

Neighbours said the family was very happy.
"I used to talk to them over the fence," one neighbour said. "He used to tell me if I needed a hand with anything, he'd be happy to help. The children were just so lovely, always playing in the backyard."


  1. Thank you everyone, for your emails and messages of encouragement during this awful time. I posted the above article because it is more accurate than other media reports.

    Please continue to pray.

  2. Praying desperately that this whole situation is resolved quickly.

  3. Hi Renee,
    I'm a long-time reader and communicator with Lauren at Sparkling Adventures. So through her, I'm a sometime lurker here through a common connection - I'm also an Australian living in Hong Kong with my family, out in Sai Kung. I am just devastated and heartbroken by the past few days. Is there anything you personally need? Will you be travelling to Australia - maybe you're already there? Please let me know if I can help in any way at this end. I just feel helpless. Love and prayers.

  4. So sorry, Renee! will be praying for all of you!

  5. Hi Renee. I'm local in the area and know Lauren & David from when they attended our church. I'm hoping to take some items over to them tomorrow. If you know of something specific they could use, I'm happy to add to my list. You can reach me at morethanscraps(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks.

  6. Hi Renee ~ Just checking in here because I wanted to let you know I am thinking of all of you and praying for you. Wish there was more we could do on this side of the world. Love and prayers, Kathleen

  7. Oh Renee, I am HEART BROKEN at this news, I know how delighted Lauren was with Elijah. Oh their girls must be suffering so. I just feel sick, I wish it was just a bad nightmare. How helpless you must feel. I am so so so sorry, bringing you all to the Father, may be hold you in his arms of comfort.
    Love, Janice