Australian woman charged after allegedly decapitating mother in 'horrific' crime

Cheryl Sanders
July 22, 2019

A woman has been charged with murder following the death of her mother at St Clair overnight.

It's alleged Rita Camilleri, a grandmother, was murdered by her daughter Jessica.

Magistrate Price ordered the accused be assessed in hospital before her next court appearance.

"This is up there with one of the most significant, most horrific scenes police have had to face", Nepean police area commander Detective Superintendent Inspector Brett McFadden told the Australian press.

Detectives seized a knife from the house for forensic examination and set up numerous crime scenes at the property.

Det Supt McFadden said a number of knives were used in the "horrific" attack on the 57-year-old.

AAP understands the mother was decapitated but police won't confirm these reports.


A four-year-old boy, who is understood to be a relative, was taken to The Children's Hospital at Westmead with a head injury.

"The detectives are now working meticulously through the information available to us, but it's a very hard and challenging investigation", McFadden said.

Ms Camelleri's head was dumped on a neighbour's footpath two doors down on St Clair Ave.

Neighbours were confronted with a horrific sight as they rushed to Rita Camilleri's aid after overhearing a "violent argument" coming from her Sydney home.

Police Forensics pictured at the crime scene.

"I don't understand, they were so close, they were so close, they have a parrot they share and love and were always in a red vehicle together".

"She needs to wake up to herself because if she doesn't the police officer who came to my house with the ambulance told me if we find ourselves back here and have to come back out to the house for this matter this time she won't be so lucky".


Detective Superintendent McFadden said the woman was fatally injured after "an argument that became violent".

Authorities found the elder Camilleri's body inside the family home that had sustained "multiple injuries".

"I saw Jess and her mum the night before, they were fine and laughing", the friend said.

Mr McFadden said the 25-year-old was known to police but "there was no information that this situation in the family home was likely to occur".

Dozens of police officers have been canvassing the scene.

A police strike force has been formed to investigate the killing, and authorities spent Sunday combing through the neighborhood for any evidence.


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