The father of three children brutally slain by their own mother had been out buying his family a new television set when the atrocity happened.
Tom Perinovic had been just down the road at a nearby shopping centre blissfully unaware of the mayhem taking place inside the family’s Tullamarine home, north west of Melbourne.
Katie Perinovic, 42, will escape justice for the murders of her children Claire, 7, Anna, 5, and Matthew, 3 after also taking her own life.
Katie Perinovic, 42, murdered her children while their father was out on a shopping trip
Tom Perinovic had been texting his wife asking her for an opinion on television sets he was looking to buy for the family
Detectives arrive at the crime scene on January 14. The carnage inside was later described as ‘gruesome’
Daily Mail Australia has been told the children were dispatched by their mother ‘quickly and brutally’ sometime before midday on January 14.
Mr Perinovic, 48, had found the bodies and raised the alarm with a harrowing triple zero call at 12.20pm that afternoon.
He had lived in the home for 25 years.
A source has told Daily Mail Australia the doting dad had been texting photographs of televisions to his wife asking for her opinion as she went about her murderous rampage.
On returning to their Burgess Street property, Mr Perinovic immediately suspected something was amiss when he observed all of the curtains had been closed.
It had been a mild summer’s day, with a top temperature reaching just 22C.
Detectives have described what Mr Perinovic saw next as ‘gruesome’.
A source told Daily Mail Australia it was a ‘terrible scene’ amid suggestions a knife was used to murder the children.
‘He’s not coping well at all,’ the source said.
Daily Mail Australia has been unable to make contact with the devastated dad, who remains under the care of his extended family.
So horrific was the crime scene that seasoned paramedics who attended the scene were left deeply traumatised.
A view of the backyard where the Perinovic family was killed.
People continue to leave flowers outside the Tullamarine property
Curtains at the property can be seen closed. Tom Perinovic suspected all was not well inside. He was right
The bodies of the family remain with the state coroner and are expected to be farewelled in services over the coming days.
Flowers continue to be placed outside of the home weeks after the tragedy happened.
Little is known publicly about what may have caused Perinovic, who also went by the surname Blazevic, to snap.
She had unexpectedly left her job at Glenroy Physiotherapy Centre about three months ago and it is believed she may have fallen into depression in the lead up to her murderous rampage.
Long time neighbours of the family noted seeing nothing out of the ordinary in the weeks and months leading up to the atrocity.
The first indication they had that something was wrong was seeing emergency services rushing to the street.
Officers who were called to the scene in Tullamarine stand with police tape outside the home on January 14
Father Tomislav Perinovic (left), the children and Ms Perinovic. Mr Perinovic has been left devastated by the tragedy
Police said there was no history of family violence involving the family. Pictured: Katie and Tomislav Perinovic with their daughter
‘We saw Tom sitting on the chair with his hands behind his back,’ a neighbour told The Australian at the time.
‘He was quiet — numb.
‘And then they took him in the police car. He was really stressed, believe me.’
Another neighbour had claimed perhaps there had been warning signs missed.
‘On November 29, I got her to come across and help celebrate my daughter’s birthday with my kids,’ a neighbour said at the time.
‘She was only there for a short period … her two older girls were very similar to my younger daughters, they were chatting and laughing – typical seven-year-olds, they were beautiful kids.
‘On that day she did seem to be a bit withdrawn – that was not usual – she was very quiet … in retrospect maybe that was a pointer.’