An inquest has revealed that a murder-suicide by Katica Perinovic, who had three children, happened in January 2021. Her body was found at their home in Tullamarine.
An initial investigation revealed that she had suffered from a psychotic episode. Her children, who were all under seven years old, were Anna, Claire, and Matthew.
At the time of the incident, Tomislav Perinovic, Katica’s husband, was out buying a television. At home, he found his wife and their children playing in the living room, while Matthew was suffering from severe wounds.
He then called the emergency services.
The inquest was held on Tuesday and the findings were handed down by coroner Audrey Jamieson. According to her, while paramedics were treating Matthew, Tomislav entered the living room and said, “They’re all dead.”
Katica and their children were then declared dead. According to the coroner, Katica died from self-inflicted wounds, while the children died from stab wounds.
According to the coroner, Claire was a kind soul, while Anna was an adventurous child, and Matthew was a tall, strong boy. In her findings, the coroner also stated that Anna was a great learner, while Claire enjoyed playing with her friends.
The three siblings loved playing with other kids and swimming. Following the incident, Tomislav was questioned by homicide detectives.
According to the coroner, Katica’s mental health had started to decline. In the weeks before the tragedy, her friends and family noticed a change in her behavior.
Katica started talking to herself and appeared paranoid. She also suddenly decided to leave her job as a psychotherapist. For over 16 years, she had worked at a clinic.
Before the incident, Katica had no history of mental health issues. However, her family had a history of schizophrenia, and it was suggested that one of her siblings tried to commit suicide. She also spoke to various doctors about her mental health.
Katica missed a psychiatrist’s appointment three days before the tragic incident. According to the coroner, Katica had suffered from a psychotic episode, and she was on Risperidone, an antipsychotic drug, at the time of the incident. She had also not been taking the medication properly.
Although the incident could not have been predicted, the lack of mental health treatment for Katica was considered to be a contributing factor to her death.
The coroner also stated that there were multiple opportunities for intervention before the tragedy occurred.
Following the inquest, the coroner, Audrey, suggested that the guidelines on treating schizophrenia and other mental health disorders be updated.