Tributes have begun to flow for two children who were killed in a double murder-suicide in the Perth suburb of Huntingdale on Friday, Australian Media reported.
Indika Gunathilaka, and his son Kohan, 6, and daughter Lily, 4, were discovered lifeless inside their home by another family member around 6.30pm.
The children were reportedly found in their beds.
Mr Gunathilaka, who was a town planner, had only six weeks ago posted a video to social media about his recent struggles with mental illness in an effort to help others feeling the same way.
“It’s been a while since I posted anything on Facebook … I’ve had my personal reasons for it. To those who felt a difference and reached out, I thank them, a lot of those calls and messages have gone unanswered and I do apologise but the care and concern shown is appreciated,” he said.
“People who have known me well enough for long enough, I would feel quite certain they may not think of me as someone going through depression or being depressed … but I have recently been diagnosed with depression.
“I’m on medication which is helping, I would think, because the unpleasant signs of mental health issues or even depression is not only does it affect you, it affects the people around you.
“Suiciding is possibly not the solution … reach out to people, try and talk to people, seek help, see what you can do before you make that drastic decision where if you are successful there is no coming back.”
Emergency services rushed to the home about 6.30pm Friday after receiving a call from a family member.
Assistant commissioner for the metropolitan region Allan Adams told reporters initial investigations led police to believe there was no other person involved in the deaths.
“The exact cause of death and the circumstances will be thoroughly investigated and this will take some time but I tell you at this stage, we are treating this incident as a double murder suicide,” he said.
“The incident came to police attention upon the mother attending a pre-determined location to pick up the kids and they weren’t at that location.
“She made some inquiries with her broader family, who attended the Huntingdale address and then called police.
“The early assessment … is that this is a domestic homicide-suicide, so investigations will determine ultimately whether that scenario is what they are confronted with or whether there are some other issues at play.”
He described the deaths as “extreme in the tragedy and sadness” and “extremely difficult to comprehend”.
The confronting scene had been extremely traumatic for first responders, he added.
Police who made the grisly discovery were reportedly left so distraught they had to be comforted nearby afterwards.
“Having been a police officer myself for over 35 years, dealing with these issues, even though police are subject to trauma on a regular basis and the response to it – nothing prepares you for this,” assistant commissioner Adams said.
He offered sincere condolences to the family, who would be offered support and assistance.
“We can only being to imagine the trauma caused to the family and on that basis any questions on family background and issues within the family, I’m not going to reply to.
“At this time of extreme grief and trauma for those families, it doesn’t help that issues that might have been besetting that family are discussed here today.”
Two days before the bodies of Mr Gunathilaka and the children were discovered he shared a picture on Facebook of them all holding hands on a beach watching the sunset, their backs to the camera.
Before Christmas Mr Gunathilaka used his Facebook profile to post a public 17-minute video in which he confirmed he suffered from depression, was prescribed medication and had been seeing a psychologist.
He spoke of a “deep dark hole” people struggling could find themselves in and said “people suiciding always don’t intend to terminate their life”.
“What they want to end or terminate is the pain they’re in which is unbearable…there’s no coming back from it.”
“Depression is one of the biggest killers … I know it too well.”
In the video he said “we all make mistakes” and urged viewers to reach out and seek support for any issues they were having.
Mr Gunathilaka previously worked as a town planner and set up his own business IMG Town Planning and Development Solutions in 2014.