Accused mum speaks after daughters found dead
The Perth mother accused of murdering two young sisters found dead in their home by their distraught father has faced a brief bedside court hearing in hospital, her voice cracking with emotion as she addressed the charges.
Milka Djurasovic, 38, was arrested with self-inflicted wounds near a Mullaloo Beach carpark three hours after her husband Nenad Djurasovic found the bodies of Tiana, six, and Mia Djurasovic, 10, at their Madeley home on Friday at 5.50pm.
A neighbour who spoke to the girls' grandparents at the home that night said Mr Djurasovic found a bloody hammer along with his dead daughters.
Still in hospital, and appearing on court by phone, Mrs Djurasovic was read the charges of murder by magistrate Linda Keane. No family members were there as the accused mother said yes three times, once to her name and twice to understanding the charges, her voice wavering. The call lasted around five minutes.
Police did not tell the court what weapon was allegedly used in the murders.
She was remanded in custody until November, when she will appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court.
The West Australian understands she has now been cleared to leave hospital. She is likely to be taken into custody and then possibly referred to the Frankland Centre psychiatric facility, where her mental state will be assessed.
Trained to save lives as a nurse, Mrs Djurasovic, was hospitalised over the weekend, after being found with apparently self-inflicted wounds hours after the bodies of her young daughters were discovered.
The girls' Ashdale Primary School classmates will receive counselling today as they grapple with the sad truth that two of their friends' chairs will remain empty.
Community members, shocked and appalled by the the murders, brought flowers, cards and teddy bears to the scene to pay their respects yesterday.
A neighbour who spoke to the girls' grandparents at the home on Friday night said Mr Djurasovic found a bloody hammer along with his dead daughters.
"The girls' grandfather, he got the call from Nenad telling him what has happened," a friend of the family, known only as Gordana, said.
"He found a bloody hammer near the little girls. I couldn't believe it."
Neighbour and mother-of-three Geeta Hirani was on her way home with her children when she realised her home had been blocked off by police tape.
"I often see the two girls jumping on the trampoline outside. They are always laughing and playing when I drive past," she said.
"But I didn't know the parents, they just kept to themselves. They didn't really interact with the other families on the street.
"We all talk, we all know each other, it's a new but close-knit community, so finding this out... it was a shock.
"I was never worried to leave my kids out playing on the street before. It's a very unexpected tragedy."
Neighbour Emma admitted while they did not know the girls personally, they were shaken by the news.
"It's beyond horrifying and shocking. Something really dark and horrible has gone wrong here," Emma said yesterday.
"It's such a beautiful day and yet it's the most tragic day of someone's life. It doesn't feel right, none of this makes sense."
She said the girls' grandfather had been wandering the street "crying and wailing in pain".
"This is devastating. It's devastated everyone," Emma said.
Her partner Harry claimed he heard "play-screaming about mid-afternoon on Friday, but that could've been nothing, it may not have even been them".
Next-door neighbour Abby shared CCTV footage of the girls' mother leaving their home at 4.19pm with police.
The footage show the car reverse out of the driveway and into the street, pause in front of the home for about 15 seconds and then drive up the road.
Yesterday Assistant Commissioner Steel warned the tragedy would send ripples through the fabric of the community, affecting anyone with children in their lives.
He said thoughts were with first responders, forensic officers and homicide detectives, who would be supported as much as possible.
"Tragically for first responders finding the bodies of two young children would have been a terrible thing to have to go through," Assistant Commissioner Steel said.
"We all have kids, whether they're our children or children that we know and it's actually the fact that we all have children in our lives that makes this so relatable.
"This is a tragic event and our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and family of the children."
Premier Mark McGowan yesterday said he had been briefed by Police Commissioner Chris Dawson and support would be made available for children at Ashdale Primary School.
"It is one of those shocking, appalling, tragic things that sometimes happen. And it affects all of us.
"We will make sure that there is support for children at the school with psychological support and the like.
Police confirmed the circumstances of the family's involvement with police or any other government agency would form part of the investigation into a timeline of events.
THE DAY LIFE CHANGED IN BOGDANICH WAY
On this Saturday, there were no ball games in the street, no kids' bicycles being pedalled along the neat street and none of the playful noise as neighbours' children got stuck into the weekend.
That's how Bogdanich Way in Madeley is most Saturday mornings.
The street is populated by several young families and neighbours say the sight and sound of kids playing was what made it a great place to live.
Most houses on the street are new, with manicured gardens.
Madeley itself is fairly new, housing developments now standing were market gardens once grew. Just 20km north of Perth, the suburb is within easy reach of the Swan Valley and the ocean.
"It's very family oriented here. You see people walking their dogs all the time. People here are very friendly and it's not uncommon to see kids playing in the street," one female resident said.
As her next-door neighbour at one end of the street surveyed all the police activity around one the smartest properties in Bogdanich Way, where a children's trampoline is prominent in the front garden, she told The Sunday Times they were still coming to grips with the events of the previous night.
It wasn't so much the police sirens, lights and scores of officers who attended the family home of Nenad and Mika Djurasovic.
It was the palpable pain and screaming anguish of loved ones on learning the worst thing imaginable to them.
Milka's parents were beside themselves.
Their raw emotion was witnessed by many in the street and it will be hard to forget.
Didi Lee didn't sleep on Friday night. She was in tears yesterday morning.
What did she tell her young children, who adored Mia and Tiana who lived opposite?
How does she explain what happened?
Mia was best friends with her daughter Evania, also 10.
They both went to Ashdale Primary School and hung out together after classes.
A police chaplain had helped settle Didi's children on Friday night.
Some parents understandably didn't want to talk to reporters in the presence of their children. Some homes were already decorated ahead of Halloween on Thursday.
One had police tape near the front door.
The real police tape cut the street in two and by 11am, officers erected a giant tent that stretched from one kerbside to the other.
- additional reporting by John Flint