A 24-year-old man has been charged with five counts of murder after two-year-old twin girls, their three-year-old sister, mother and grandmother were found dead in Perth.
The bodies of Mara Quinn, aged in her 40s, her three-year-old daughter Charlotte, two-year-old twins Alice and Beatrix, and their grandmother were found at a Bedford home, in Perth’s east, on Sunday.
The Bedford man turned himself in at Karratha police station, 1,500 kilometres north of Perth, prompting police to visit the Coode Street home, where they discovered the bodies about midday.
It is believed the man also lived at the home.
He was due to appear in Perth magistrates court via videolink from Karratha magistrates court later on Monday.
Homicide detectives and specialist forensic police continue to comb the home for evidence.
“Depending on the size of that crime scene, that will take a period of time and it could be a number of days,” the metropolitan region assistant commissioner Paul Steel said on Sunday.
A bouquet of red roses with a card saying “rest in peace, neighbours” has been placed against a light pole near the house.
According to her Facebook page, Mara Quinn became engaged in August 2014 and had her first child in March 2015.
Records show she bought the family’s home in 2008.
A young father, who is building a house nearby, told AAP: “I’ve got a two-year-old girl – I can’t rationalise anything that would cause someone to do that.”
An elderly woman who also lives nearby, said: “I don’t know what’s coming to this world.”
A couple who live a few doors down from the house said they did not know the family but were horrified when police knocked on their door and told them what had happened.
An elderly man who has lived in the neighbourhood for decades said it was usually tranquil.
Western Australia was also rocked by the shooting deaths of three adults and four children, all from the same family, in Osmington in May, and the murder of a mother and her 15-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son at Ellenbrook, in Perth’s north-east, in July.
The state’s deputy premier and heath minister, Roger Cook, said it was not yet known whether there was a common cause between the three tragedies, but added that mental health was his most challenging portfolio and the situation seemed to be getting worse.
“We have limited resources, we are constantly looking at new ways that we can apply those resources to provide the appropriate level of support,” Cook told reporters.
“I want everyone just to hug their kids, hug their family today. This is a horrible event and it’s very upsetting.”
• Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
• If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au