According to NBC News, an Australian woman was charged with murder on Sunday for the death of seven of her children and her niece, whose bodies were found inside her home, police said. Mersane Warria, 37, was charged with eight counts of murder in a bedside hearing at a hospital in the northern city of Cairns where she is recovering from stab wounds, Queensland state police said.
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 they got to the house, they found the bodies, along with Warria, who was suffering from stab wounds to the chest. Police haven't said how the children died, but Queensland Police Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said they're examining several knives in the home that may have been the weapon used to kill them. Suffocation was also a possible cause of death, he said.
"We are considering that and that's why it's taking a bit of time," he said. "It could be a range of things, from suffocation to a thousand other things." Officials were still trying to determine exactly what happened inside the house, and had collected more than 100 witness statements, he said.
A coroner was conducting autopsies, but police would not be releasing the results as the case was now a matter for the courts, he said. The children, four girls and four boys, ranged in age from 2 to 14. Police were not looking for any other suspects, Asnicar said.