Victoria Police have cleared the father of three children found dead in a home in Melbourne’s north-west of any involvement in the killings.
Tomislav Perinovic, 48, had been released without charge after providing a full statement, police said on Friday afternoon.
Mr Perinovic’s three children – Claire and Anna, aged seven and five, and three-year-old Matthew – were found dead in their Tullamarine home, along with his 42-year-old wife and the children’s mother, Katie, on Thursday afternoon.
“Homicide squad investigators have formed the preliminary view that the 42-year-old woman is responsible for all four deaths and on completion of their investigation, a report will be provided for consideration of the coroner,” Victoria Police said in a statement on Friday.
“Investigators do not believe the 48-year-old man was involved in the incident and police are not looking for anyone further in relation to the matter.”
Earlier, devastated neighbours and friends came to leave floral tributes outside the family’s home. Neighbours said they were shaken by the incident.
“I used to see the children, they used to play in the cubby house at the back. It’s really sad,” one said.
Another said: “They were beautiful, a lovely family. This is going to be felt for a very, very long time – not just the adults but the kids. The kids are really going to feel this.”
Neighbour Marie Groves told the ABC the family attended her daughter’s birthday party in 2020.
“It’s so close to home, these are people who’ve spent time in my home, my kids love their kids,” Ms Groves said.
“How am I going to tell my kids?”
She said Ms Perinovic was a physiotherapist who had only recently returned to work after taking time off to care for Matthew.
According to the Herald Sun, Ms Perinovic left the clinic “unexpectedly” three months ago.
Mr Perinovic called emergency services to report the deaths on Thursday.
On Thursday, police described him as a person of interest. But Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill warned people against jumping to conclusions.
“We should not draw any conclusions at this point in time as to his culpability. If one was to do so, that would be grossly unfair,” Mr Hill said.
“We have a long way to go before we can actually understand and appreciate what occurred.”
He said as far as police were aware, there was no history of violence associated with the family.
On Friday, Acting Deputy Commissioner Hill said police would work to support the families of those involved and ensure they got the help they needed.
“I know there will be many people in the community struggling to understand and come to terms with this tragedy,” he said.
He said it had also been “an incredibly difficult time” for police and paramedics who responded to Mr Perinovic’s emergency call.
“This has been an incredibly heart-wrenching experience for all concerned,” he said.
A small number of detectives and uniformed police remained at the family’s Tullamarine home on Friday morning. The house was cordoned off behind police tape.
Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to police is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.
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