Four children—Taye (age 13), Rylan (age 12), Arye (age 10), and Kadyn Cockman (age 8)—were killed by their grandfather, Peter Miles, as part of a murder-suicide. The children’s mother, Katrina Miles, and their grandmother Cynda Miles were also killed. The children were homeschooled.
The children and their parents, Aaron Cockman and Kristina (Miles) Cockman, moved in with Katrina’s parents due to financial problems. In 2010 Aaron Cockman borrowed money from Peter Miles so the Cockmans could buy their own home, but Miles’s demands that Aaron Cockman repay the money broke up the Cockmans’ marriage, and by 2015 they were competing for custody of the children. All four children were autistic and attended local public schools for many years, but at some point they were pulled from school to be homeschooled on the family’s hobby farm. Peter Miles had worked for more than 20 years providing farm education at the local high school; he retired in 2016. The family were active participants in the South West Home Schooling Network, who described Katrina Miles as a dedicated and supportive member of their group. “The four children all kept journals, and Taye, the oldest, was becoming an accomplished writer. All the children were working on learning to swim.”
In May 2018 Peter Miles shot to death Katrina and her children, then his wife Cynda, then himself.
*Note: while it is unlikely that homeschooling played a role in this case, it is included in our database as evidence that homeschooled children are not immune to violence.
Date: May 11, 2018
Location: Osmington, Western Australia, Australia