An Australian woman is undergoing a mental health assessment after eight children were found stabbed to death inside of a Cairns home.
Mersane Warria, also known as Raina Thaiday, 34, is at the center of a horrific family massacre following news that her seven children and one child relative (aged between 18 months and 15 years old) were found suffocated and fatally stabbed inside of their Manoora home.
A 20-year-old brother of the family is said to have found his siblings stabbed to death inside of the home on Friday. The night before, Warria was reportedly heard by neighbors rambling about God and forgiveness, according to news.com.au.
"There's not much else we can say, but we have a range of strategies in place to support the family through this very difficult time," Detective Inspector Asnicar said. "It's tragic and traumatic with so many deceased in one place. It's right up there with some of the most serious things I've ever had to deal with."
Warria was found at the home with stab wounds to the chest and neck and is now said to be in stable condition at a Cairns hospital, where she is also undergoing a psychological evaluation.
"I just can't believe it," Warria's cousin Lisa Thaiday told reporters. "Those poor babies."
Police said that there are no formal suspects at this time and that Warria is assisting in their investigation into what exactly transpired. She is not in custody and no charges have been made.
A 13-year-old girl who walked two of her girlfriends to the Murray Street home after shopping on Thursday, said Warria behaved strangely upon their arrival.
"She was saying stuff about God and other stuff … [She said] 'Papa God gave me the power to do anything,'" the girl told AAP, adding that Warria told her that she was a "warrior."
Some neighbors also made similar claims and said Warria was screaming in english and torres straight creole.
"Don't let them take them away from us. God bless us. Forgive me for what I'll do," she was overheard screaming.
One neighbor, Tahnia Ruttensteiner, said she overheard Warria arguing with someone and that a few hours later she began moving belongings out of the home, claiming she was going to "make a new start."
"She was having a bad night; I heard her fighting with someone this morning about 4:00 a.m.,'' said Ruttensteiner. "I last saw her about 6:00 a.m., then it was quiet. She was putting furniture and stuff out the front on the street, giving stuff away to family and friends. She said she was changing her life. She wasn't well but she loved those kids."
The young man who found his relatives dead is being consoled by family members.
"I'm going to see him now; he needs comforting," Thaiday said. "We're a big family and most of us are from the (Torres) Strait."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the case as "heartbreaking" in a tweet posted on Friday.
"The events in Cairns today are heartbreaking & all parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened," Abbott tweeted.
Cairns, which is located in Australia's far north of Queensland, is a popular tourist destination.