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Shattered father tells of family's grief over slain son

Jake Lasker, 19, was stabbed to death at his parents' Rockville home on Wednesday.
Jake Lasker, 19, was stabbed to death at his parents' Rockville home on Wednesday.

THE father of Toowoomba teenager Jake Lasker spent the night of his death looking through tear-stung eyes at photographs of his slain son.

John and Joanne Lasker have still not come to terms with the loss of their 19-year-old boy, stabbed to death in their Rockville home on Wednesday.

The father of Jake Lasker remembers him as a kind and gentle young man.
The father of Jake Lasker remembers him as a kind and gentle young man.

"So many people have said so many things but at the end of the day there isn't a word that can help us," Mr Lasker said.

"I'm not saying it cheers me up in any way, but at least he (accused killer Max Peter Smith) has been charged and remanded.

"They've got him."

The cruel irony lies in the fact that his accused killer was one of the first friends Jake had brought home.

Jake suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, which severely limited his social abilities, but the duo shared a love for playing video games on Xbox.

A month ago Mr Lasker was introduced to the 19-year-old man who has been charged with his son's murder.

"I was ecstatic just to see him with a friend, having real human contact," he said.

"He (Smith) seemed like a genuinely good young fellow, introduced himself and asked what I did for a living."

A year-long battle with eye cancer was almost at an end when Jake was killed.

After surgery to his right eye, neck and cheek, his family believed he had finally beaten the illness.

All that torment was made redundant by the blade of a knife.

"We don't know if a fight broke out or what it was. Realistically, we might never know," Mr Lasker said.

The family's one hope of discovering what really happened lies with a third person who Mr Lasker said was at the home when his son died.

Jake Lasker died of knife wounds to his neck and torso on Wednesday.
Jake Lasker died of knife wounds to his neck and torso on Wednesday.

"There has been nothing official from police but he was found about 600 metres down the road at IGA with defensive wounds on his hands," he said.

Mr Lasker said he could not properly grieve until his family home was no longer a crime scene.

He spent the night of Jake's death at his mother-in-law's house.

"We just sat in the lounge room bawling our eyes out as we looked through photos of Jake from when he was a baby all the way up to high school (at Toowoomba State High School)," he said.

"I think it will hit me like another tonne of bricks when we actually go back into the house.

"The last thing I want to do is break their line like an emotional father and contaminate the crime scene so the court case gets thrown out."

All that friends and family can do now is wait for the official police investigation to come to an end and relive their memories of Jake, a kind and caring young man.

"Everyone loved him for who he was," Mr Lasker said.

"He would do anything in his own little power to help anyone out.

"I just can't understand why this has happened."

Topics:  murder, police, rockville, stabbing, suspicious death, toowoomba


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