Clue before tragic death of mum, children

 

Neighbours living on a typically quiet street in Melbourne's northwest are still in shock and disbelief after a mother and three children were found dead in their home.

The bodies of 42-year-old Katie Perinovic, her two girls Claire, 7, and Anna, 5, and son Matthew, 3, were discovered inside the Burgess Street house in Tullamarine on Thursday afternoon.

It is not yet known how they died.

Her husband, Tomislav Perinovic, 48, made the call to emergency services, police said.

Mr Perinovic is assisting detectives from the Homicide Squad with their inquiries and the next of kin have been notified.

A small group of suited detectives arrived at the home about 9.15am Friday and went inside the house, which was still cordoned off with police tape.

One, wearing masks and gloves, took video footage of the front of the house, while two uniformed officers remained positioned out the front.

Family friend and neighbour, Marie Groves, said the last time she had a proper conversation with Katie was on November 29 for her daughter's birthday.

Marie Groves reacts to the tragic news. Picture: Sarah Matray/NCA NewsWire
Marie Groves reacts to the tragic news. Picture: Sarah Matray/NCA NewsWire

She said Katie was "unusually withdrawn and quiet" that day.

"It's incomprehensible this has happened," Ms Groves said on Friday morning

"She was such a feature of the neighbourhood, she was smiley-faced Katie.

"On November 29, I got her to come across and help celebrate my daughter's birthday with my kids.

"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"On that day she did seem to be a bit withdrawn - that was not usual - she was very quiet … in retrospect maybe that was a pointer."

A woman places flowers at the house in Tullamarine where the bodies of a mother and three kids were found. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire
A woman places flowers at the house in Tullamarine where the bodies of a mother and three kids were found. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire

Ms Groves said she didn't know Katie's husband, Tomislav, very well as he was "working all the time".

"This would have never have been on the radar of something that could've happened to her family because she was so protective of them," she said.

Another neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NCA NewsWire he knew Katie's three children from school.

"It's devastating what happened. The kids went to the same school as my kids. It's really sad," he said.

Claire and Anna both went to St Christopher's Primary School in the nearby suburb of Airport West.

Police at the house in Tullamarine where the bodies of a mother and three kids were found. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire
Police at the house in Tullamarine where the bodies of a mother and three kids were found. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire

Burgess Street neighbour Irene said she was watching the tragic events unfold on her television just a few doors down, when a police officer knocked on her door for any information.

She said the family had moved into the street a few years ago.

"Sometimes I've seen them to go with the little kids on the bicycle," she told NCA NewsWire.

"But it's normally a very quiet street; that's why I was very shocked. It's awful."

Katie Perinovic, 42, was a devoted mother to her children Claire, 7, Anna, 5, and Matthew, 3. Father Tomislav Perinovic, 48, was assisting police on Thursday night after the tragic discovery.
Katie Perinovic, 42, was a devoted mother to her children Claire, 7, Anna, 5, and Matthew, 3. Father Tomislav Perinovic, 48, was assisting police on Thursday night after the tragic discovery.

Acting deputy commissioner Robert Hill told reporters on Thursday the investigation was still in its early stages.

"We understand the three children were siblings. We also understand the three children were that of the female that was found deceased," he said.

"We also understand the male was the husband of the deceased female, and the father of the three children.

"Investigators do not believe there are other parties involved at this stage.

"It's very important we do not speculate. The circumstances of this event are yet to be determined.

"We cannot afford to make any assumptions as to what occurred."

Originally published as Clue before tragic death of mum, children



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