A Perth mother who killed her two daughters said she saw ‘no other way out’ when she hatched the murder-suicide plan in October 2019.
Milka Djurasovic, 40, is accused of murdering her children Mia, 10, and Tiana, 6, inside their Madeley home while her husband was at work.
Tiana and Mia were killed by their mother in Perth.
Ms Djurasovic has confessed to the killings but pleaded not guilty to the two murders due to being of unsound mind.
During the first day of her Supreme Court trial, the court heard how Ms Djurasovic’s mental health had deteriorated in the months leading up to the tragedy, with the medical scientist being granted extended sick leave from work as her husband, Nenad, took over most household duties.
State prosecutor Justin Whalley said on the day the two girls died, Ms Djurasovic drove them to school in the morning but turned the car around and returned home, deciding she couldn’t continue living, and didn’t want to leave the girls without their mother.
“As she thought increasingly about suicide, she thought she couldn’t leave her children behind, she started thinking about how they could all go together,” he said.
“She looked at the tags on her children’s school bags and they looked like morgue tags, and she thought it meant her and the children had to go.”
When the trio arrived home from the failed school drop-off, Ms Djurasovic turned on the vacuum to drown out any noise before killing Tiana and then Mia.
Mia’s body was later found in the pantry and Tiana’s had been placed in her bed.
“The accused spent some time pacing the house, she kissed and hugged the girls and got some toys and placed them next to each girl,” Mr Whalley said.
In a video recorded on her mobile phone shortly after the deaths, Ms Djurasovic asked her husband to leave her to die, as she planned to take her own life.
“I’m sorry everyone, I’m sorry, I did not know. They were ok, they did not suffer too much, that is Tiana, Mia fought a bit more, if I am not finished as you are watching this, Nenad, please let me die, I’m sorry everybody, it’s all my fault, I’m sorry,” she said in Serbian.
Ms Djurasovic then tried unsuccessfully to kill herself in the family home before driving to Whitfords Beach to again attempt suicide.
When her husband arrived home, he saw a note out the front telling him not to go inside. He rushed in and discovered Mia’s body.
Neighbour’s called police after hearing guttural screams coming from the house, and later the girls’ grandparents were seen lying on the lawn outside the family home distraught and crying.
Ms Djurasovic was found and taken to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment and was later charged with the murders.
Police recovered several notes left around the house.
“I love my girls more than anyone and anything and I am so sorry for not looking after them better,” said one.
“I did not like talking about my problems, I wish I had, I am sorry for everything” and “I can’t have them grow up without me” said another.
Nenad Djurasovic and around 10 other members of the couple’s family were in court to hear the horrific details of the girls’ final moments, one saying “you need to get better” as she struggled with her mother.
Ms Djurasovic was tearful in the dock as the video she took shortly after the girls were killed was played in court.
The court heard Nenad had encouraged his wife to get help after noticing she was withdrawing from everyday life in early 2019. He then spent the weeks and months prior to the tragedy reassuring her she would be ok and encouraging her to take anti-depressant and anxiety medication prescribed to her by a psychiatrist.
In the days before the killings Ms Djurasovic spent most of her days in bed, stopped showering and was sleeping in her shoes.
Four days before the deaths, Nenad found a typed letter that said ‘no one knew of my plan, I’m sorry for everything but I don’t see a different way out’.
Ms Djurasovic claimed she had written the letter months ago, and her husband thought her condition was improving.
Three psychiatrists who assessed Ms Djurasovic after the killings concluded she was of unsound mind when she killed her children. They are expected to give evidence during the judge-alone trial which is being heard by Justice Stephen Hall.
If you, or anyone you know, needs mental health support, please call a helpline such as Lifeline 13 11 14; beyondblue 1300 224 636; Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1300 555 788 (Metro) or Rurallink 1800 552 002; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; The Samaritans Crisis Line 08 9381 5555.
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