Manhunt as wife, three children found shot dead

POLICE are searching for a man after his wife and three children were found shot dead at a rural property in southern New South Wales.

The bodies of Kim Hunt, her 10-year-old son Fletcher and two daughters Mia and Phoebe, aged eight and six, were found at a farmhouse near Lockhart, west of Wagga Wagga, on Tuesday afternoon.

The children were found inside the property while their 41-year-old mother, who was a well-known local nurse, was discovered on a path at the back of the house, the ABC reported.

Forensic teams spent the night scouring the area for the missing 44-year-old father, identified as Geoff Hunt, after his ute was found parked near a dam.

Police have formed a strike force to investigate the deaths.

Strike Force Tullaroan comprises officers from Wagga Wagga Local Area Command. They are being assisted by detectives from State Crime Command's Homicide Squad.

About 3pm on Tuesday, police were called to a rural property on Boree Creek Road, about 13km north-west of Lockhart.

Inside the house, officers located the bodies of three children.

On a path at the rear of the house, they located the body of a woman.

Police said two crime scenes have been established at the property.

One is located at the homestead; the other is near a dam where police searching the property found an unattended white utility.

The crime scenes were being examined by specialist forensic officers throughout the night.

Police divers will search the dam and other waterways today.

While a post mortem will be conducted to establish how the four people died, it's believed they sustained gun-shot wounds.

Police said they had grave concerns for a 44-year-old man who remains unaccounted for, and are appealing for information from the public to help locate him.

The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 193cm tall, with a medium and athletic build, short brown hair, and a clean-shaven face.

People with information about the man's whereabouts are asked to contact Strike Force Tullaroan investigators via Crime Stoppers.

If the man is sighted, do not to approach him, but contact 000 immediately.