UPDATED 5PM (ADST), 14/1/21
Homicide detectives are investigating after a mother and her three young children were found dead at a house in Tullamarine, in Melbourne’s north-west.
Victoria Police officers found the bodies of a 42-year-old woman, two girls aged five and seven, and a three-year-old boy when they were called to the Burgess Street house about 12.30pm on Thursday.
The woman’s husband and children’s father, a 48-year-old man, is “assisting police with their inquiries”.
“The investigation is in its very early stages. We know that it involves a husband, a wife, and three children,” Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill said on Thursday afternoon.
“The husband has survived, the wife and three children are now deceased. Investigators do not believe there are other parties involved at this stage.”
But he urged people not to speculate about the “tragic event”.
“We cannot afford to make any assumptions as to what occurred,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Hill said.
“It is a tragic event to lose life, in any circumstances. But when it involves three children … it does impact upon the community of Victoria. It does impact upon us all.”
Acting Assistant Commissioner Mark Galliott said the tragedy in the house was difficult to comprehend.
“This will have long-lasting effects on the police that have attended, on extended family, the community, the neighbourhood, the emergency services, and everybody else involved,” he said.
Earlier, a man was led from the house by officers and assessed by paramedics before he was taken away in a police car.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Galliott said police were “keeping a very open mind” about what had happened at the home.
He said police had only a brief statement from the 48-year-old man, and described him as “a person of interest”. They are not seeking anyone else in relation to the four deaths.
They have not revealed how the woman and her three children died.
Police cordoned off Burgess Street in Tullamarine after the discovery. At least half a dozen police cars and officers crowded the street for much of Thursday.
Neighbours told the ABC the area was relatively quiet, with lots of young renters.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Hill said there was no history of violence within the family.
“We’ve got a long way to go before we can understand and appreciate exactly what occurred,” he said.
Police are expected to remain at the Tullamarine house for most of the remainder of Thursday. They say there is no ongoing risk to the wider community.