LATEST: A Perth man has appeared in court tonight accused of killing his Wangaratta parents.
Ian David Thomas, 35, of Balga in Western Australia, has been charged with two counts of murder over the violent death of Bill and Pauline Thomas.
He was refused bail at an out-of-sessions court hearing in Melbourne, with another date set for later this week.
Thomas was arrested at a property in Meredith, between Geelong and Ballarat, just before 7pm last night but charges were not laid until today.
Wangaratta couple Bill and Pauline Thomas, both aged in their 60s, were found dead in their Great Alpine Road home on Monday night.
One of the Thomas’ five adult children contacted police on Monday night, worried the parents had not called to wish them happy birthday, and asked officers to check on their welfare.
Inside the new brick home on the corner of Broster Road, east of the Hume Freeway, police discovered the scene.
Homicide squad Detective Sen-Sgt Steve McIntyre said both had suffered “some significant injuries”.
“At this point in time I can’t give you the exact cause of death,” he said yesterday.
“It’s a complicated scene — I don’t believe it’s a murder-suicide.”
Sen Sgt McIntyre said there was no sign of forced entry into the home.
Nothing was believed to have been missing.
The detective said the pair had died in the “past couple of days”.
Three daughters of the couple live in Queensland and their two sons are in Western Australia.
The couple had raised their family at their property of more than 40 hectares.
They had recently finished building a new home and shed after knocking down the old farmhouse.
Mr and Mrs Thomas had both grown up in Wangaratta as part of large families.
Mr Thomas had worked as a stock carrier for more than 20 years, carrying on his grandfather’s trade by carting cattle to and from saleyards in Wangaratta, Wodonga and Corowa.
His sister-in-law, Libby Thomas, last night said that while the couple had kept to themselves, the family had been close.
“The family is in complete shock,” said Mrs Thomas, who is the wife of Bill’s brother Alan.
“We’ve got no idea why this has happened.
“The police have told us it might be a day or two until we know any more.”