Police confirmed early on Monday that the bodies police found on Sunday at the home on Coode Street in Bedford were twin two-year-old girls, a three-and-a-half-year-old girl, their mother and grandmother.
At around midday on Sunday a man, believed to be in his 20s, drove to his father’s house prior to attending a regional WA police station hundreds of kilometres north of Perth, a source told Fairfax Media.
Police are expected to remain at the house for days while investigations are carried out.
Photo: Phil Hickey
He is currently assisting police and remains in custody, but no charges have been laid yet.
It’s believed he provided information which led police to the home on the busy Perth street.
On entering, police discovered the slain family. Officers reportedly do not know how long the bodies were in the house before they were discovered.
Neighbours were reported saying they had not seen the family for a week.
Police discovered the bodies about midday.
Photo: Nathan Hondros
Assistant Commissioner Paul Steel of the Metropolitan Region described the incident as a “heartbreaking tragedy”.
It’s just so sad, they’ve got primary school aged kids and I thought it just couldn’t be
“This is a tragic event and it will no doubt have an impact on not only on the family and friends of the deceased, but on the whole of the community, those first responders who are faced with attending a scene with deceased people,” Assistant Commissioner Steel said.
“I can assure people that the WA Police Force are conducting a thorough and proper investigation to determine what events led to this tragic matter.
“The homicide squad currently have teams of detectives on the ground, accompanied by specialist forensic police who are meticulously working their way through this crime scene.”
Mr Steel could not provide any details about the ages of any of the deceased or comment on the relationships between the deceased.
“The exact numbers and genders are unknown at this stage,” he said.
Neighbours said they believed the children living at the house included a three-year-old, and 18-month-old twins. One neighbour also suggested an elderly woman lived at the house or “went there often”.
Mr Steel stressed that this was very early in the investigation so he could not provide many details.
A distraught neighbour near the scene said she often saw children playing in the front yard of the house.
“It’s just so sad, they’ve got primary school aged kids and I thought it just couldn’t be,” she said.
“It’s sickening to think someone could do that.”
Maria Manfredini lives behind the property at the centre of the tragedy.
“It’s taken us by complete shock,” she said. “It’s just horrific on every level.”
Ms Manfredini said she did not know the occupants of the home personally, but would often wave and say hello as she walked past.
“This is a very close community,” she said.
“It’s always been so calm and peaceful. We never would’ve expected anything like this at all.
“I’m still in shock. I’m deeply saddened by what’s happened.”
Nearby residents have revealed how the streets and the home in question appeared normal when they left their own houses late this morning.
Shine Joseph said the roads were clear when he left his home on Fort Street this morning.
“We actually left for shopping at 11 o’clock in the morning and the roads were actually clear,” he said.
“When I came back … the roads, all of them were blocked off. I had to take a different path to get home.”
Entire blocks around the crime scene at the corner of Coode and Fort Streets were cordoned off until about 5.30pm.
A major police presence will remain on the street as investigations continue.
It’s understood police are examining CCTV footage from nearby homes which sit opposite the Coode Street house.
Assistant Commissioner Steel said police were trying to identify relatives to notify them. Police would remain at the scene for a number of days and homicide squad officers would interview the man in custody.
He did not answer the question about whether weapons were found at the scene.
“It is a tragic thing when incidents like this occur,” he said.