21 December 2014
Last updated at 06:04
The killings took place at a house in the Cairns district of Manoora
Australian authorities have charged a woman in the northern city of Cairns with the murder of seven of her children and her niece.
Mersane Warria, 37, was charged while in hospital where she is being treated under guard for self-inflicted knife wounds, police say.
Post-mortem examinations are being carried out to determine the exact cause of the eight victims’ deaths.
The four boys and four girls were aged between 18 months and 14 years.
Police found a number of weapons at the scene, including knives, which are being examined.
Officers said they were looking at various possibilities for the deaths, including suffocation.
Dozens of flowers and soft toys have been left at memorials near the scene
Family members of the victims went to visit some of the tributes
A church service was held to remember the eight children
The killings have stunned the community
The bodies were reportedly discovered by the mother’s 20-year-old son arriving at the home on Friday morning.
Police have dismissed reports the family had been investigated by social services saying it was “not a problem house”.
Memorials have sprung up outside the home in the Manoora district of Cairns.
A church service was held on Sunday morning to remember the children.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement it was an “unspeakable crime”.
These were “trying days for our country”, he added.