Trigger warning: This post deals with graphic violence and a possible suicide attempt and may distress some readers.
A 37-year-old mother is charged with the murder of seven of her children and her niece after their bodies were found at a home in Cairns, in far north Queensland, on Friday.
The four girls and four boys aged between two and 14 were discovered at a home on Murray Street in the Cairns suburb of Manoora.
Mersane Warria, who is the mother of seven of the deceased children and aunt of the eighth, has been charged with eight counts of murder.
Police have said they would not name the children for cultural reasons.
Warria was charged under her full name of Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday.
A spokesperson for the Cairns Magistrates Court has confirmed she had been remanded in custody.
“Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday appeared before Magistrate Alan Comans at a bedside hearing at the [Cairns Hospital],” the spokesperson said.
“The matter will next be heard in the Cairns Magistrates Court tomorrow along with other Arrest Court matters from 9:30am.
“Thaiday has been excused from attending the hearing.
“Given the matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Warria remains in hospital under police guard.
Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said Warria was “conscious, speaking and quite lucid”.
He said there would be a formal hearing tomorrow, but Warria has been excused from attending.
He said police intended to oppose bail.
Detective Inspector Asnicar said autopsies of the children would be completed today, but no further details would be publicly released.
“Everybody is entitled to a fair trial – our job is to collect evidence and present it to a court,” he said.
“Our job is not to put false images in peoples heads or speculate.
“I don’t want to see anything go wrong that will affect the court process.”
When asked whether drug use was involved, police said it was part of the investigation.
Community mourns with family
There were emotional scenes in Cairns this morning as family members attended a memorial near the home where the children died.
The families are in the far north Queensland city to begin a traditional mourning period ahead of their funerals.