A woman and her three young children have been found dead at a home in Melbourne’s north.
Victoria police said the woman’s husband, and the father of the three children, was assisting with the investigation but people should not presume culpability on that basis because “that would be grossly unfair”.
Officers attended the house in the suburb of Tullamarine just after midday on Thursday and found the bodies of a 42-year-old woman, her seven-year-old daughter, her five-year-old daughter and her three-year-old son.
Victoria police said there was no ongoing threat to the community and they were “not seeking any other person at this point in time with respect to this investigation”.
Acting deputy commissioner Robert Hill said there were multiple “possibilities” that police were investigating.
“It’s very important we do not speculate,” he told reporters on Thursday. “The circumstance of this event are yet to be determined.”
Asked whether the father, 48, was a “suspect” in the case, the deputy commissioner said he was “a person of interest”.
“We should not draw any conclusions at this point in time as to his culpability,” he said. “If one was to do so, that would be grossly unfair.”
Hill said the man contacted emergency services and there was no family violence history.
Asked by reporters whether it could be “a murder-suicide”, Hill replied: “There are a number of possibilities and that’s one. That could possibly be relevant to this particular event.”
The deputy commissioner said it would compromise the investigation to give details of the injuries.
“We should not draw conclusions that that male may be culpable for this offending,” he said. “We just need to understand the facts and, unfortunately, they’re not known to us at the moment, but they will be in the fullness of time.”
A neighbour of the family, Marie Groves, told the ABC she knew the family, and her children had attended the birthday of one the children last year.
Groves said the woman was “the best mum”.
“My kids love their kids,” she said.
Another neighbour, John Constantino, told the ABC that the mother was “one of the nicest people you’d meet”.
“She was well-liked around here,” he said.
• In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. In the UK Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org