The devastated family of five people murdered a month ago remain in ‘limbo’ as the coroner works to release their bodies.
Anthony Robert Harvey, 24, allegedly used multiple weapons including knives and a blunt instrument to butcher his family members in a Perth home on September 3 and 4.
But the bodies of his wife Mara, 41, daughter Charlotte, three, and two-year-old twins Alice and Beatrix and their grandmother Beverley Quinn, 74, remain with the coroner.
Mrs Harvey’s sister Taryn Tottman and her husband Alan have endured an agonising wait to bury their loved ones.
‘We’ve kinda got our fingers crossed. We’ve been sitting in limbo like everyone and everyone is asking us, texting us and we say “sorry we’ve got no word, but don’t worry as soon as it happens we’ll let everyone know as quick as we possibly can”,’ Mr Tottman said.
‘At this stage we’re just waiting on a phone call from (the coroner) either hopefully this Friday or by the latest Monday.
‘Hopefully they’ll give us a date so they can say ‘yes go ahead’ or ‘no it’s got to be changed’. We’re up in the air just as much as everyone else at the moment.’
Police will allege Mr Harvey first killed his wife and kids before murdering their grandmother when she arrived at the Coode Street home the next day.
The lawn-mowing franchisee allegedly remained with the bodies for the next five days, before driving 1,400km to a police station in the remote Pilbara region.
Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the adults were allegedly killed in the kitchen, while the children were attacked in other rooms of the house.
Mr Tottman said the delay had compounded his family’s grief, but they were determined to allow the coroner to do her job.
‘There are five individuals that they’re dealing with in there and they’re just doing all the testing they possibly can to get as much evidence as they can for the police,’ he said.
‘We have our moments. We’re up and down. Not thinking about it one minute and you’re thinking about it the next.
‘We’ve got three young kids to help take our minds of things for a while but it’s the quiet times when you’re alone … you start thinking about things and you do get a bit emotional.’
Days after the tragedy, Mrs Tottman paid tribute to her sister, who she said ‘loved being a mum’ and that her daughters were her world.
‘She was so proud of each of them and was doing a great job of raising them. Her girls were her world,’ she said at the time.
Today, Mr Tottman paid tribute to his wife, who only last week got to finally view the bodies of her deceased family members.
‘I just can’t praise my wife enough. She’s so strong. I mean it’s her family that she’s lost and you know she’s just a very, very strong woman and she’s handled it very well. She has her moments too,’ he said.
‘All she wants at this point in time is to hopefully get a date (for the funeral) and lay her poor family to rest and then move on with the grieving process.’
A fundraiser organised to help pay for the funerals has currently reached $33,970 of a $35,000 target.
A concert featuring Mr Tottman’s band That’s It has been planned for Friday night at the Charles Hotel in North Perth in the hope of meeting that target.
Mr Tottman said he had been overwhelmed by the community support following the tragedy.
‘It’s such a humbling thing. The only thing that is really giving us any comfort is of everyone pulling together because there is no way we could ever afford a funeral that is going to be of this size,’ he said.
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