The mother of the three children who were found dead after a house fire in Port Hedland in WA’s Pilbara region has been charged with murder.
Homicide detectives have charged the 36-year-old woman with the murder of her 10-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son and five-month-old son.
She is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today.
The woman was taken into custody shortly after firefighters found the bodies of the three children last Tuesday afternoon, when the house fire had been brought under control.
She has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of criminal damage by fire.
A community in mourning
The family of the woman and children was seen grieving near the home comforting each other on Thursday afternoon while authorities moved the children’s bodies from the site.
In a statement, the family asked the public and local community to respect the investigatory process, something police said would take time.
“Our family is going through a very traumatic grief process,” they said in a statement released by police on Friday.
“We request that people do not speculate and make comments on the events surrounding the passing of our beautiful children.
“We ask that people respect our cultural protocols and do not mention our children’s names, or share their images without our permission.
“We are quietly paying tribute to our three little angels, and just supporting each other at this time.”
Family ‘flooded with attention’
The Department of Communities said last week that the family at the center of the incident was well-known in the area.
“They’re going through the most difficult time that you could imagine. They’re grieving for the loss of these babies,” the department’s acting regional executive director Sally Kirk said.
“They’ve been flooded with attention … they’ve asked everyone if they could please give them space to grieve, to be private, to go through this.”
The WA Country Health Service has encouraged people in the community to prioritize their mental health in the wake of the tragic incident.
“Now more than ever, it’s important that we continue to be there for one another,” regional manager Roger Golling said.