The 24-year-old suspect has been accused of killing his wife, three kids and mother-in-law with a blunt instrument and knives at their suburban family home, where he remained for several days before turning himself in, Australian police said on Monday.
Police charged Anthony Robert Harvey with the murders of his two-year-old twins Alice and Beatrix, his three-year-old daughter Charlotte and his 41-year-old wife Mara in the south-western city of Perth.
Harvey, who lived in the home, is also alleged to have killed his mother-in-law Beverley Quinn, 73, after she arrived at the same address the next day.
Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told reporters no firearms were used in the attacks which police believe were carried out with several weapons including “a blunt instrument and knives”.
“We’re alleging that the murders took place over two days,” he said.
“The mother Mara and her three children were all murdered over a period of time on the third (of September), and that Mrs Quinn was murdered the following morning.” Dawson said the two women were allegedly attacked in the kitchen while the children were killed “in other rooms of the house”.
“We are alleging that Mr Harvey remained at the… house for some days” before heading north, he added.
Police found the bodies of the five victims at the unassuming detached family home after Harvey walked into a police station in a remote mining area some 1,500km north of the city on Sunday – a week after their deaths.
Harvey is expected to return to court on Sept 19.