Epsom College head teacher Emma Pattison hosted an ‘intimate’ dinner party with her husband, just hours before she died in an apparent murder-suicide, reports say.
They were discovered dead along with their seven-year-old daughter Lettie at home at around 1.10am on Sunday.
It has now emerged just hours before the tragedy, the couple reportedly invited over some friends who said there was ‘no indication’ anything was wrong.
‘On Saturday night they threw a dinner party,’ a family friend told the Sun. ‘It was quite an intimate affair and literally turned out to be their last supper.
Nothing unusual happened. There were no arguments, no indication he would go on to do something so horrific a short time later.’
Mrs Pattison, 45, became the first female head of the prestigious independent school five months ago, and moved into a property on the school grounds with her daughter Lettie.
Her husband stayed behind at their old home and ‘flitted between’ the two houses until the sale was completed last month, neighbours said.
Pattison was a licensed gun holder, and had notified police about his change of address, which he was legally required to do.
Surrey Police believes the tragedy was a double murder-suicide carried out by him.
Yesterday, it was reported he had called the cops on his wife for an alleged assault in 2016, but declined to cooperate further with police, saying the issue was trivial.
It was also revealed Mrs Pattison had made a distressed phone call to her sister in the early hours of Sunday morning, minutes before she was shot dead.
Deborah Kirk jumped in a car and drove out to the school, but arrived too late and discovered them all dead.
It is believed a school worker who lived nearby heard gunshots and notified the police.
In December, Mrs Pattison told a student podcast her move had been ‘a really big change for my family’, adding: ‘I’ve got a new job, my husband got a new job, which wasn’t meant to happen, but did, and my daughter has started a new school.’
Surrey Police said the incident was being treated as a homicide investigation. The exact cause of deaths, which have been reported to the coroner, will not be determined until post-mortem examinations have been carried out.
Officers are now trying to piece together the exact chronology of events leading up to the tragedy, but remain confident there was no third-party involvement.
The school announced it would shut last night and remain closed until the end of next week’s half-term holiday.
Paul Williams, the acting head, said it was time for families ‘to come together and try to process this shocking news’.
He wrote: ‘The shock and horror of the past few days have been unprecedented. The impact on your children cannot be underestimated and we are doing everything we can to support them in whatever way they need.’