Perth mother struggled with depression prior to murder charge — (9 News)

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9 News

By Jerrie Demasi • Reporter

10:28pm Oct 28, 2019

A Perth mother charged with the murder of her two daughters was battling depression, it has been revealed.

Milka Djurasovic had been prescribed medication to cope with the symptoms, but authorities have confirmed there was no history of family violence before the deaths of Mia, 10, and Tijiana, 6.

The 38-year-old mother, who works as a scientific officer at the Red Cross, is accused of murdering her daughters inside their home on Friday night in the northern suburb of Madeley.

A 38-year-old mother is accused of murdering her two daughters. (9News)

It’s alleged she then turned a weapon on herself and was discovered by police later that evening on a beachside path in Kalaroo with self-inflicted wounds.

It’s believed she also ingested a poisonous substances.

She remains at Royal Perth Hospital under police guard and today faced a bedside court hearing.

It was the girls’ father, 43-year-old Nenad Djurasovic, who discovered the tragedy when he found one of his daughters dead inside his Bogdanich Way home.

It was the girls’ father who discovered the tragedy. (9News)

He called police and was urged not to go any further into the house. (9News)

When officers arrived they discovered the second little girl’s body.

A state-wide search was then launched to find the girls’ mother.

The Department of Justice will now rely on doctor’s advice to determine whether Djurasovic will be moved to a prison or a secure mental health facility.

She will face the Supreme Court on November 27.

Tributes have been left both at the family’s home and at the girls’ school, Ashdale Primary.

Principal Tony Watson remembered the sisters as “loved and respected students”.

Their dance school remembered Mia as “a popular, kind and beautiful student who will be greatly missed”. “She will never be forgotten we treasure the years both girls shared with us.”

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Perth mother Milka Djurasovic gives harrowing evidence after killing her two daughters — (7 News Australia)

Milka Djurasovic said she believed she was sparing her daughters, aged six and 10, from suffering or experiencing ‘awful things’.

Michael Ramsey / WA News / Updated 13.12.2021

A mentally ill Perth mother who killed her two young daughters before trying to take her own life believed she was sparing them from suffering, a court has heard.

Milka Djurasovic, 40, is facing a judge-alone trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia charged with two counts of murder.

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She has admitted killing her daughters Mia, 10, and six-year-old Tiana, whose bodies were found by their father Nenad at their Madeley home in October 2019, but argues she is not guilty of murder because she was of unsound mind.

Djurasovic was diagnosed after the killings with major depression with psychotic features.

The court heard she had previously struggled with worsening mental health issues and feared her children would be forced into care if she was hospitalised.

‘Today’s the day’

An agreed statement of facts submitted to the court outlined how Djurasovic woke around 7am on the day of the killings and thought to herself “today’s the day”, subsequently placing knives, machetes and rope in the pantry.

Tiana cried when she saw the rope and knives, asking her mother “are you going to do something to me?” and saying she wanted to go to school.

Djurasovic “snapped out of it” and got the girls ready for school, sounding upbeat and normal over the phone when she received a call from her husband.

At the school gates, she parked for several minutes before deciding to return home, telling Tiana they were going to go shopping.

Later that morning she decided to proceed with killing the girls and herself, plugging a vacuum cleaner into the wall and leaving it running to drown out any sound.

Tribute to Tiana and Mia Djurasovic (file image)

The mother of Mia and Tiana Djurasovic denies their murder, arguing she was of unsound mind. Credit: AAP

After killing her daughters, Djurasovic paced around the home before kissing and hugging the girls and placing toys next to their bodies.

She then made several attempts to take her own life and recorded a video in which she repeatedly apologised and urged her husband to let her die.

The girls’ father arrived home that afternoon to discover Mia’s body, with Tiana’s body later discovered by paramedics.

Police found Djurasovic a short time later covered in a blanket in sand dunes at a nearby beach, having again attempted to end her life.

Several notes which Djurasovic had typed or handwritten were found in the home.

Mia Djurasovic, aged 10. Credit: Supplied

‘So sorry’

“I love my girls more than anyone and anything and I am so sorry for not looking after them better,” she wrote.

“I should have been more ‘connected’ to my husband and friends.

“I did not like talking about my problems. I wish I had. I am so sorry for everything.”

The bodies of six-year-old Tiana Djurasovic and her 10-year-old sister Mia were found in their family home.

The bodies of six-year-old Tiana Djurasovic and her 10-year-old sister Mia were found in their family home. Credit: 7NEWS

Djurasovic also wrote to her husband, saying the girls were already nervous and anxious and she didn’t want them to “end up on medication, doing drugs and all that is killing me”.

“I am at fault for everything,” she wrote in the letter, translated from Serbian.

“I did nothing bad on purpose but that is how it ended up.”

Mentally impaired

Psychiatrist Adam Brett, who twice interviewed Djurasovic in custody earlier this year, said he was confident the accused had been mentally impaired at the time of the offending and had lacked the capacity to know she ought not to do such a thing.

He said Djurasovic had nihilistic delusions and believed she was saving the girls from the “awful things” she had experienced.

“She loved them so much she didn’t want them to suffer in the same way she did,” Dr Brett told the court.

Djurasovic briefly took the stand on Monday to assert, under questioning from her lawyer Mark Trowell QC, that she had been honest throughout her police and psychiatric interviews.

The trial, before Justice Stephen Hall, continues.