Warning: This article deals with suicide.
Police investigating the death of a mother and her three young children in a Melbourne home believe it was a murder-suicide.
Investigators released a statement on Friday saying evidence indicates the 42-year-old mother was responsible.
Father Thomas Perenovic was the one who found his wife and three children dead inside their family home on Thursday and rang emergency services.
"They're a really, really lovely young family," a neighbour told Newshub. "Devastated, it's so close to home. These are people who have spent time in my home. My kids love their kids. How am I going to tell my kids?"
Acting deputy commissioner Bob Hill said the deaths were "tragic".
"When it involves children it is even more heart-wrenching."
While Thomas was initially named by police and questioned as a person of interest, a spokesperson for police said: "investigators do not believe the 48-year-old man was involved in the incident".
They say it was mum Katie who killed 3-year-old Matthew and his two older sisters Anna and Claire who were just 5 and 7 years old.
"It's upsetting. I know the family. I've known them for a while and it just doesn't gel," another neighbour said.
Some community members had noted a shift in behaviour from Katie when she attended a recent birthday party.
"She did come, but she did seem very, very quiet and withdrawn, which was very unusual for Katie."
Why that happened is beyond what anyone in this community can comprehend.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584