Murder-suicide is among several lines of inquiry being followed by police after discovering the bodies of a mother and her three young children inside a Melbourne home.
Officers were called to the family’s Tullamarine home on Thursday at about 12.20pm, where they discovered the bodies of 42-year-old Katie Perinovic, her three-year-old son Matthew and two daughters Claire and Anna, aged seven and five.
The husband and father, 48-year-old Tomislav Perinovic, was expected to be formally interviewed by homicide detectives on Thursday night.
He provided an initial version of events after police arrived at the Burgess Street property and discovered the bodies of a 42-year-old woman, two girls – aged seven and five – and a three-year-old boy.
It is understood the uninjured man made the call to emergency services.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill acknowledged the man was a person of interest, but warned against people jumping to conclusions.
“We have a long way to go before we can actually understand and appreciate what occurred,” he said.
There is no history of violence associated with the family and a potential murder-suicide situation is being considered as part of the investigation.
“There are a number of possibilities,” Mr Hill said.
“And that’s one that could possibly be relevant to this event.”
Mr Hill refused to divulge the nature of the injuries suffered by the mother and her children.
“The loss of life is tragic in any circumstances,” he said.
“But when it involves children, it makes it even more heart-wrenching.”
Police, homicide detectives and forensic investigators were expected to remain on-site throughout Thursday evening, methodically piecing together the circumstances of the tragedy.
No one else is being sought over the deaths and there is no risk to the community.
He said it was important not to jump to any conclusions about the incident, which would have a lasting impact on the local community.
“It is a tragic event to lose life, in any circumstances. But when it involves three children – the second event that’s occurred this week where we’ve seen the loss of children in horrific circumstances – it does impact upon the community,” he said.
The incident comes days after the deaths of a woman and three children following a house fire in the south-eastern suburb of Glen Waverly on the weekend.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (up to age 25).
More information about mental health is available at Beyond Blue.