Victoria

Woman, 41, charged with murder over death of boy, 8, on Mornington Peninsula

A 41-year-old woman has been charged with murder after the death on Thursday afternoon of an eight-year-old boy at Tootgarook on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula.

The woman faced a closed out-of-sessions hearing on Thursday evening and was refused bail. She will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

Woman arrested after 8-year-old found dead

The woman cannot be named as next of kin overseas are yet to be notified.

The boy's body was found at a property on Alma Street, Tootgarook, shortly after 1.30pm on Thursday, police said.

An eight-year-old boy was found dead at an Alma Street home on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Joe Armao

"It is believed both parties are known to each other," police said in a statement.

Most houses in the street are holiday homes and empty. It’s believed the property where the boy died was due to be sold at auction this weekend.

Children in school uniform arrived at the house on Friday morning with their parents to place flowers, notes and teddy bears against the real estate sign erected out the front.

One note reads: “God bless little man RIP all the angles will be with you now.”

Forensics police at the house on Thursday. Photo: Joe Armao

Neighbour Antoinette Berugini said she heard the police out the front of the house on Thursday and knew something was wrong “but not that bad”.

“It was shocking because I’m grandmother, I’ve got kids myself, I’ve got a grandson,” she said.

Police at the property. Photo: Joe Armao

“You can imagine if they came to me and say to me your grandchild died. And not because they’re sick.”

Another neighbour, Antoniella Bernobic, said she used to see the boy jumping on the trampoline sitting in the front yard.

They were a “normal everyday family”, she said, and nothing out of the ordinary stood out.

“Sick to my stomach,” is how she described how she was feeling.

“Absolutely horrible. I couldn’t even think of how can someone actually do something like that,” she said.

Kelly Wood said she saw the woman recently trick or treating with her child. “It’s just a tragedy, you don’t expect it so close to you. It effects you,” she said.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said a couple lived at the house with a young boy.

She said she did not know the family well, but had not heard of any problems or noises.

"We saw each other a bit, we're not really friends," she said.

"The police have already been around. I feel sick."

Other neighbours

said the family had been living at the rented property, which is listed for sale, only for a year or so.

Royston Churchill, who has lived on Alma Street for 47 years, said he was shocked at the news.

“It was a big shock, because we’ve never had anything like that around here,” he said.

Mauro Salce, who owns Peninsula Classic Holden Parts on Alma Street, said it was mostly a quiet area, with lots of holiday homes.

"I’m really surprised," he said. "It’s a really good street."

Tootgarook is a beachside suburb between Rosebud and Rye.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.