Police Knew Hannah Clarke Was A Victim Of Domestic Violence
A day after Hannah Clarke and her three young children were killed in a Brisbane car fire that also left her estranged husband dead, police have confirmed they were aware of domestic violence issues between the former couple.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Detective Inspector Mark Thompson confirmed Queensland Police had dealt with both Hannah and Rowan Baxter in relation to domestic violence issues in the past and had referred both to support services.
"When it comes to Hannah we have dealt with her on a number of occasions and worked with the Brisbane Domestic Violence Centre in supporting Hannah throughout her family issues," Thompson said.
"And we've also referred Rowan Baxter to Support Services as well."
He also confirmed that domestic and family violence paperwork and applications had been put to court and been granted.
"We've had a number of interactions with the family over the last couple of months and we worked to both support Rowan, Hannah and their children, to support both sides of this issue through their problems."
Thompson said investigators were still working to determine the exact cause of death of the family following the car fire tragedy.
But he said police were confident they have been able to determine the exact movements of Hannah and Rowan prior to their deaths.
He also confirmed police were not considering Rowan's death as suspicious.
"Information that's at hand has led us to believe that the Baxter children and Hannah Clark were killed and I don't believe there's any suspicious circumstances around the death of Rowan Baxter."
Police have also issued a plea for members of the public who may have known the Clarke-Baxter families to come forward and provide any information that may shed some light on what led to Wednesday's suspected murder-suicide as detectives work to prepare a "complete picture" for the coroner.
He said there were a number of comments online which suggested people were aware of the family and their history.
"That leads me to be here today to put another impassioned call out to the public, that if you have any knowledge of their families, you come forward and speak to police."
"Our investigations have shown us quite clearly that there is a palpable sense of grief and mourning amongst the community," Thompson said.
"And it's also shown us at this point in time there's a rising sense of anger in this day and age, the scourge of family and domestic violence still can lead to the death of five people."
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.