Man charged with murder after mother, baby found dead in Rockhampton

Matthew James Cox was arrested after walking into a Brisbane police station on Thursday

Matthew James Cox was arrested after walking into a Brisbane police station on Thursday Photo: Facebook

A man has been arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and baby after he walked into a police station 630km away from the “confronting” crime scene.

The bodies of Tayla Cox, 30, and her 11-week-old baby girl Murphy Margaret were found inside a home in Rockhampton, central Queensland, on Thursday.

Officers made the tragic discovery after 31-year-old Rockhampton man Matthew Cox took himself to a police station in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

He told police the woman and child were dead at the property on Bean Street, in the suburb of Park Avenue, hundreds of kilometres away.

Police suspect Tayla and the child died on Tuesday, August 8, and the man flew from Rockhampton to Brisbane that evening, Detective Superintendent Darrin Shadlow said.

Matthew Cox was charged with two counts of murder on Thursday afternoon.

“We aren’t looking for any other people,” Detective Superintendent Shadlow said.

There was no history of domestic violence in the relationship and the man and woman were not known to police.

Horror suburban discovery

Detective Superintendent Shadlow ruled out reports that a gunshot had been heard at the address.

He would not comment on how the mother and baby died but told media they had lacerations on their bodies.

“I will say that it was quite a confronting scene,” he said.

“There was a large amount of blood.”

He said the mother’s family had been notified, “and as you’d expect, they’re devastated”.

When asked whether it was a mental health-related incident, Detective Superintendent Shadlow said it would “obviously form part of our investigations”.

The ABC reports that Matthew Cox’s parents, Denis Cox and Linda Lind, released a statement on Thursday saying the family was devastated.

They had “not only lost a beautiful daughter-in-law Tayla but also our much loved granddaughter Murphy”.

“At this stage we have very few other details and are in an absolute state of shock,” the statement said.

“We ask that the media respect our privacy while we grieve and try and process what has occurred.”

Police will remain at the scene for days.

Mr Cox’s vehicle was seized at the Rockhampton airport for forensic examination.

“We have scientific and forensic officers currently at the scene … they will be there for some time examining the scene and the investigations will be ongoing,” Detective Superintendent Shadlow said.

The accused is due to face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.

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