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The man accused of Western Australia's latest family mass murder stayed in a house with the bodies of his children, wife and mother-in-law for days before heading north and turning himself in, police say.
Anthony Robert Harvey (24) faced court in the Pilbara on Monday after allegedly murdering his 41-year-old wife and three daughters, aged two and three, at their Bedford home in Perth's inner northeast on September 3.
He allegedly killed his 73-year-old mother-in-law the next morning when she came to visit and then stayed in the house for days before heading north, where he contacted police.
It is the third domestic mass murder in WA in four months and the second involving three generations of relatives.
A grandfather shot his wife, daughter and her four children before taking his own life at a farm in Osmington, near Margaret River, in May.
Just over two months later, a 19-year-old man allegedly murdered his mother, sister and brother in Ellenbrook in Perth's northeast.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said 23 people had died in domestic violence-related circumstances already this year.
"It's impossible for me not to take stock that in the last four months, 15 people have lost their lives in three separate family tragedies," Mr Dawson told reporters.
"Everyone is concerned about this - we have been for a long period of time."
The family of the Bedford victims issued a statement that Mr Dawson described as heart-wrenching.
"There are no words to explain the emptiness and loss that we feeling," they wrote.
"This world is a sadder place with the loss of these five beautiful people but Heaven has gained five new angels."
As the police forensic team scoured the property for evidence, taking it away in brown paper bags, Bedford locals expressed their shock and disbelief.
A bouquet of red roses with a card saying "rest in peace, neighbours" was placed near the house.