Raina Thaiday, known as Mersane Warria, was identified as the suspect in the Cairns, Australia, stabbing that left eight children dead on Friday, according to local reports.
The woman is believed to be the mother of seven of eight of the kids. Neighbors, according to News Ltd., apparently heard Warria screaming: “Don’t let them take them away from us. God bless us. Forgive me for what I’ll do.”
The next day, a 20-year-old man who is believed to have been the brother of the woman, walked into the home and discovered the grisly scene of eight children–the youngest 18 months and the oldest 14–dead.
Local reports said that Warria is the suspect in the case. However, police officials in the area have not confirmed her identity.
Other neighbors said they heard a woman’s voice screaming in English and Torres Strait Creole, which is the native language of islanders in the area. Another neighbor said she saw the woman lugging belongings out of her home, saying she needed to “make a fresh start,” according to Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
“With any crime of this magnitude, and particularly one of the nature that this one is, the scene is locked down,” Detective Inspector Bruno Aniscar said. “I haven’t been in the scene, and nobody has been in that scene other than our forensic people.
He added that investigators will not be able to enter the scene of the crime before forensics personnel finish their work. “They will remain there until they’ve completed their investigations and examinations,” he told the publication. “After that time, investigators will go in and start their investigative process from there.”
Warria had stab wounds on her chest and neck, and she is currently undergoing a mental health assessment, said News Ltd.