A Melbourne mother, believed to have killed her three children before taking her own life, abruptly left her job and was notably withdrawn in the months before the killings. The bodies of Katie Perinovic, her two daughters Claire, 7, and Anna, 5, and son Matthew, 3, were discovered inside their Tullamarine home, in the city’s northern suburbs, on Thursday afternoon.
The murders has sent shockwaves through the normally quiet community.
Perinovic’s husband, Tomislav, 48, made the call to emergency services and was questioned by police before he was released without charge.
“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,” police said this 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.”
Family friend Marie Groves told Herald Sunshe was devastated by the deaths: “I can’t believe it – those babies.”
At a recent birthday party for Ms Groves’ daughter, Perinovic was “unusually withdrawn and quiet”.
“On November 29, I got her to come across and help celebrate my daughter’s birthday with my kids,” Ms Groves told NCA NewsWire this morning.
“She was only there for a short period … her two older girls were very similar to my younger daughters, they were chatting and laughing – typical seven-year-olds, they were beautiful kids.
“On that day she did seem to be a bit withdrawn – that was not usual – she was very quiet … in retrospect maybe that was a pointer?”
Ms Groves said she didn’t know Katie’s husband, Tomislav, very well as he was “working all the time”.
Ms Groves, who had developed a close bond with Perinovic as their children grew up together, said the last time she’d seen her neighbour was before Christmas, when she also seemed “a bit quieter than usual”.
However, she added, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Former colleagues of Perinovic, who was a practising physiotherapist, told the Herald Sun they were devastated to learn of the deaths.
It is understood she left the Glenroy Physiotherapy clinic unexpectedly about three months ago.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill said police would work to support the families of those involved and ensure they get the help they need.
“I know there will be many people in the community struggling to understand and come to terms with this tragedy,” he said.
“This has also been an incredibly difficult time for both the police and paramedics, who responded and attended the scene yesterday.
“This has been an incredibly heart wrenching experience for all concerned.”
The investigation continues.
– with NCA NewsWire