A Melbourne mother who killed her three children in a murder-suicide was not a victim of family violence, investigators have revealed, as harrowing new details about the tragic incident were aired for the first time.
WARNING: This story contains detail that may be distressing to some readers.
The bodies of Katie Perinovic and her children – Matthew, Claire and Anna – were discovered at their Tullamarine home last month by their devastated husband and father, Thomas.
Graphic new details were aired on Wednesday before Coroner Audrey Jamieson as authorities begin piecing together the chain of events leading to their deaths.
Nicholas Ngai, who is assisting the coroner, told the court that it was Mr Perinovic who first raised the alarm and called paramedics.
He had been out buying groceries when he returned home and found his three-year-old son Matthew in the kitchen.
“Mr Perinovic was present in the kitchen during the resuscitation attempt of Matthew and he was reported to have left the kitchen and returned shortly after, declaring the rest of his family was deceased in an adjoining room,” Mr Ngai said.
“Both Mrs Perinovic and the other two children had upper body injuries also consistent with knife wounds,” he said.
“A large knife was located nearby in the room that bodies were discovered,” he said.
The court heard Mr Perinovic was arrested but denied any involvement.
Detective Acting Sergeant Luke Farrell on Wednesday told the coroner police “quickly” became aware that Mrs Perinovic was responsible for the deaths of her children.
“There’s really no history of family violence,” the detective said.
“The main focus of my inquiry to date has been around mental health treatment to Mrs Perinovic in the months leading up to the deaths.”
Mr Perinovic was unable to attend Wednesday’s hearing because of “significant grief,” the court heard.
Coroner Jamieson on Wednesday called the incident a “terrible tragedy” and sent her condolences to the family.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636