A man accused of killing three generations of the one family allegedly stayed in the home with their bodies for several days.
Anthony Robert Harvey faced court today charged with five counts of murder after police discovered the bodies of his daughters, twin girls Alice and Beatrix, 2, and Charlotte, 3, his partner Mara, 47, and her mother Beverley Quinn, 74.
Harvey, 24, appeared on video link from Karratha Magistrates Court wearing a T-shirt, jeans and no shoes and has been remanded in custody.
The family of the deceased tonight released a statement via police saying they are heartbroken, describing Mrs Harvey as a loving mum.
"There are no words to explain the emptiness and loss that we are feeling," her sister Taryn said. "This world is a sadder place with the loss of these five beautiful people but heaven has gained five new angels."
Earlier today, the court was told the murders of Mrs Harvey and the children allegedly took place on September 3, while their grandmother was allegedly killed the following day.
When magistrate Joe Randazzo asked Mr Harvey if he understood each murder charge, he simply said: "I understand."
A shocking crime
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told media this afternoon that no gun was used, but "several weapons" were involved.
"What we are alleging a blunt instrument and knives were used," he said.
Commissioner Dawson said the two adults were allegedly killed in the kitchen and the children in other rooms of the house.
Police allege Mr Harvey stayed at the home for a "number of days" before he travelled to the Pilbara region and turned himself into police.
In the last four months, 15 people have died in three separate family tragedies in Western Australia.
"Crimes like this have a devastating impact on family, friends and indeed the wider community," Commissioner Dawson said.
"No matter that most of us did not immediately know this family, there is a sense of shock and indeed even at times anger for what has taken place."
He said he could understand why the community felt affected by the latest "atrocity" and urged anyone who was experiencing any kind of anxiety to contact helplines.
Family pays tribute
In an emotional statement issued via police, Mrs Harvey's sister Taryn thanked the public for their well wishes during a "dark and difficult time".
"Beverley was a kind hearted, caring mother and grandmother and was always there for her family," she said.
"She was very much family orientated and she loved her daughters and grandchildren, and would have done anything for them.
"Mara loved being a mum and she loved her girls. She was so proud of each of them and was doing a great job of raising them. Her girls were her world.
"Charlotte was an energetic, bubbly confident little girl who loved people and loved socialising. Alice was outgoing, adventurous and cheeky, while Beatrix was at times a little bit more quiet but gave the biggest hugs."
Murder motive unclear
Harvey surrendered himself to Pannawonica police station yesterday afternoon, a town more than 15 hours north of the Perth suburb of Bedford where the family was found.
A number of neighbours confirmed to news.com.au Mrs Quinn was employed as a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) worker for a mining company.
Pannawonica in the state's mining region of Pilbara is a busy, temporary base for workers employed in the sector.
It's believed Harvey gave police officers information about the family, which led investigators in Perth to attend the Coode Street home.
Police declined to explain what Harvey said to lead them to the scene.
Police told news.com.au the man spent the night being interviewed by detectives and was helping them with their inquiries.
In August 2014, Ms Quinn took to social media to announce she was newly engaged. Her first daughter was born about six months later.
'It's just awful'
Distraught neighbours have spoken about the family and how they hadn't been seen in recent days. The street, normally filled with the laughter of the three girls, has been eerily quiet.
Nearby neighbour Doug Roberston told news.com.au he often heard the girls playing.
"Who would want to hurt little children?" Mr Robertson said. "I just don't understand it."
"I didn't see the kids but I could hear them playing. I just can't believe this has happened."
Alfie Campos, who lives behind the family's house, described the horrific situation as like living in "a bad dream".
"You wake up in the morning and it seems like some weird dream, but it is reality," Mr Campos told news.com.au. "It's just awful."
"I would always see the kids playing and I would shout out hello to them," he said.
"The grandma was there every single day helping out and the dad had some lawn mowing business and was always in and out.
"They have lived here for about four years and were always very friendly."
As police continued to comb through the scene for evidence on Monday, Mr Campos said he was planning a holiday to escape the tragedy.
"My son was going away and he told me to come along," he said. "I need to get away because it's all in my head now."
Kimberly Shackelton told news.com.au she was shocked something so horrible could happen in her suburb.
"This is just a quiet ordinary suburb," she said. "Nothing much happens here so I am very shocked. You never heard any noise from the house — it was all very quiet".
Another neighbour who lives across the road from the family said the kids were "happy".
"It's so, so sad," she told news.com.au.
"They were very happy kids. They used to wave at me a lot and I would wave back."
Next-door neighbour Richard Fairbrother told the ABC he'd been away and hadn't seen the family for more than a week.
"We've just been on a holiday and came back yesterday (Saturday) to silence in the street," Mr Fairbrother said.
"We noticed that the house next door was pretty quiet, which was unusual, being that they had the young kids.
"We had some friends staying here who have also mentioned that they didn't see or hear anybody next door for the week that we were away."
Another neighbour told WA Today she didn't know the home's occupants personally, but would often wave and say hello as she walked past.
"It's taken us by complete shock," she said. "It's just horrific on every level."
Neighbour Vagner de Souza told the ABC he regularly saw a family in the house's yard.
"Just a normal family, you would never imagine anything like that happening," Mr de Souza said.