Three innocent little girls. All under four. All confirmed dead.
Yesterday police announced the grave news that five people have died, including a grandma, a mother and her three daughters – three-year-old, Charlotte and twins toddlers, Beatrix and Alice.
Through the shock and sadness, police are piecing together just what happened to this picture perfect family from Bedford, Western Australia.
Bedford family tragedy: What we know
On Sunday, 9 September 2018, a peaceful suburb of Bedford quickly became the centre of a horrific crime scene after police were tipped about a possible issue inside a two-bedroom family home.
Normally the house located on Coode Street was bustling with sounds of laughter and kids playing but neighbours say it has been unusually quiet for days.
Police gained access into the home, owned by Mara and Anthony Harvey, to discover the television still on and five bodies in the house.
Police have yet to reveal just what happened but they have identified the victims as loving mum, Mara Quinn, 41, her mother Beverley Quinn, 74 and Mara’s three daughters, Charlotte Kate, 3 and twins, Beatrix Mae and Alice Ester, 2.
Anthony Robert Harvey, 24, was charged with five counts of murder late Monday afternoon and has since appeared in Perth Magistrates’ Court via video link, The Australian reports.
Mr Harvey confirmed his name and replied: “I understand” in response to each of the five murder charges read out by magistrate Joe Randazzo.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Harvey murdered his wife and three daughters last Monday and his mother-in-law the next day.
Inside the Harvey/Quinn household
Mara, 47, lived in the house with her partner, who was much younger, and their children. The pair met through work and got engaged in 2014.
From the outside, it looked like a fairy tale happy ending for Mara, who finally found her prince and could start a family.
“She was pretty unlucky in love before she met him,” a friend told Fairfax Media.
“So [when they got together] it was like ‘yay, now she gets to start a family’.”
The couple welcomed their first child a year later and fell pregnant with the twins shortly after. According to news reports, Mara owned the house where police discovered the bodies. She had sold some of her other properties so her husband could buy a business. It is believed he ran a lawn mowing business from the family home.
‘Loving mother’ and ‘beautiful little kids’
The Bedford community is in absolute shock over the devastating deaths. Mara was an active member of the Perth community and described by friends as a “loving mother”.
Neighbour, Alfie, tells The Age, “They were a perfect family, beautiful little kids.”
Alfie adds that he would often wave to the kids and the “two twins were always dressed the same.” He also noted that Grandma was there everyday, helping out with the kids. According to media reports, Mara was FIFO worker for a Pilbara mining company and her own mother helped raise the girls when she flew out for work.
Another neighbour, Maria Manfredini, adds, “It’s taken us by complete shock. It’s just horrific on every level.
This is a very close community. It’s always been so calm and peaceful. We never would’ve expected anything like this at all.”
Ongoing investigation into Bedford mass killing
Police said it remained unclear how long the bodies of the five had been in the house before discovery. The Coode Street house remains blocked off and investigation is ongoing.
Sadly, this is the third multiple killing in Western Australia this year.
Assistant Commissioner Paul Steel stated, “This is a tragic event and it will no doubt have an impact not only on the family and friends of the deceased, but on the whole of the community.”
Our thoughts go out to those impacted by this tragedy.
People needing help with emotional difficulties can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you have been touched by this tragedy or need help with grief, counsellors are available at Griefline on 1300 845 745.