Mother arrested in killings of eight children in Australia

Police haven’t said how the children died. But detective inspector Bruno Ansicar said they’re examining several knives in the woman’s home that may have been the weapon used to kill them.

SYDNEY // Australian police have arrested the mother of seven of eight children found dead in a Cairns house for murder.

The 37-year-old woman, who is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds, was under guard and talking to police, detective inspector Bruno Ansicar said on Saturday. She has not yet been charged.

“We’re not looking for anybody else — we’re comfortable that the community at large is safe,” the inspector said.

Police haven’t said how the children died. But inspector Ansicar said they’re examining several knives in the woman’s home that may have been the weapon used to kill them.

The children were identified as four girls and four boys, ranging in ages from two to 14 years old. The woman is thought to be the mother of seven of the children. The eighth is believed to be her niece.

Queensland police were called to the home in the Cairns suburb of Manoora on Friday morning after receiving a report of a woman with serious injuries. When police got to the house, they found the bodies of the children.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was also found in the home, suffering from stab wounds to the chest. On Saturday she was in a stable condition and lucid.

A coroner was conducting autopsies to determine the causes of death, and police were continuing to comb through the house for evidence.

Inspector Ansicar dismissed rumours that the house had been the subject of calls from the department of social services.

“It’s not a problem house as has been speculated,” he said. “This is an ordinary neighbourhood — a lot of good people, a lot of kids in the area. This is something that has caught everybody by surprise. It’s just an absolutely tragic thing.”

* Associated Press

Published: December 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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