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Tullamarine murder-suicide: Mother kills her three children, aged 3, 5 and 7, before taking her own life at home

The woman’s husband has been released without charge since no involvement from his end has been not found in the tragedy
UPDATED JAN 15, 2021
Representational Image (Getty Images)
Representational Image (Getty Images)

Police working on an alleged murder-suicide case in Melbourne's north have found in their preliminary investigation that the mother killed her three children before taking her own life. Victoria Police investigators believe Katie Perinovic first murdered seven-year-old Claire, five-year-old Anna, and Matthew, three, and then killed herself at their Tullamarine home, The Daily Mail reported. A statement from police on Friday, January 15, stated, “Homicide Squad investigators have formed the preliminary view that the 42-year-old woman is responsible for all four deaths.” Police called the crime scene “gruesome”, but did not provide any further detail.

Perinovic's husband Tomislav reportedly first saw the bodies after mid-day on Thursday, January 14, who then raised the alarm and called Triple Zero. The woman’s husband has been released without charge since his involvement is not found in the tragedy. “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,” the statement added. Meanwhile, a friend of the mother claimed that she found Perinovic notably “withdrawn” for the past few weeks. Marie Groves, also a neighbor of the affected family, said in November Perinovic joined a party at her house for her daughter's birthday but was not talking much. “She was more withdrawn than I've seen her ever in the past. There were a few other mums here and they did notice she seemed a bit quiet on that day,”  Daily Mail Australia quoted Groves as saying, who also added, “Those kids were full of life. They were your picture perfect kids.”

Other people who knew Perinovic said she was often seen in the local library lovingly singing songs and reading to her small children. According to a report by The Herald Sun, the mother was an employee at Glenroy Physiotherapy Centre, but nearly three months ago she surprisingly quit. It has been said that the woman might have been depressed that resulted in the tragic murder-suicide. “It hasn't sunk in that I'm not going to walk out the door and see her walking past to the milk bar and picking up pizzas with the kids. I'm not going to be able to be at the park and see Matthew jumping on the trampolines. She was Katie, smiley face Katie, who would always stop and chat. It's incomprehensible, we just cannot understand how this could have happened to Katie,” Groves told the ABC.

John Constantino, another neighbor of the family, said he had a talk with the 42-year-old Perinovic the night before she died and she seemed all fine. “I was watering the garden about 7.30 pm and she walked past and she seemed happy and everything. She asked me what I was going to do tomorrow, I said, 'I might mow the lawn' and she said 'yeah, it's not going to be a hot day',” Constantino said to The Age. Tara Jenkins, who lives nearby, said, “I'm absolutely gutted. It’s devastating. Those kids were so young, just beautiful little kids. [She] was ... a very loving mother. We would often say hello to each other as our kids played. She was always really cheerful and kind ... just a lovely woman."

Acting Assistant Commissioner Mark Galliott also spoke of the tragedy and stated, “This will have long-lasting effects on the police that attended, on extended family, the community, the neighbourhood, the emergency services and everybody else involved. They'll be lifelong memories that they'll have to deal with and so we'll make sure that the welfare of our members and the emergency services that attended are paramount."