A 28-year-old mother of a 14-month-old boy has been charged with his murder and locked up in a secure psychiatric unit over fears for her mental state.
Sara Jade McCullock is accused of killing her son Jason inside their Balclutha Crescent home at Madora Bay, south of Perth, sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday.
McCullock, dressed in a sweatshirt and tracksuit pants, appeared in silence at Perth Magistrates Court where it was revealed she had undergone a psychiatric assessment at Rockingham Hospital, reported The West Australian.
She appeared emotionless in court when magistrate Michelle Pontifex told her she had been charged with murder and asked if she understood.
Her lawyer Joanne Oliver told the court her concerns for her client’s mental health had been confirmed by the assessment at Rockingham Hospital.
McCullock was ordered into custody at Perth’s only secure mental health facility at the Frankland Centre for a week until she is due back in court.
A 28-year-old woman charged over the murder of a 14-month-old boy has been identified as his mother (pictured, Sara Jade McCullock)
Sara Jade McCullock is accused of killing her child Jason inside their Balclutha Crescent home at Madora Bay, south of Perth between Tuesday and Wednesday
Neighbours said they called police after they heard shouting and doors banging. Officers found the boy unresponsive and gave him emergency first aid but failed to revive him.
Midwife Shan Preston told the local newspaper the death ‘just makes me feel sick.
‘It genuinely hurts me to think about. He was just so little,’ she added. ‘It’s just horrible.’
McCullock had made a series of Facebook posts gushing over her son including one celebrating his first birthday in February.
Officers found the boy unresponsive and gave him emergency first aid but failed to revive him
‘Happiest 1st Birthday to my little man Jace. Love you,’ she wrote.
The post included a photo of her son smiling with birthday cake smeared all over his face and hands.
Another post showed Jason wearing a Billabong rashie and bucket hat while he sat on a picnic blanket and played with a stick.
‘Cuteness overload,’ the caption read.
Her profile page was filled with photos of luxury cars and collectible vehicles.
She took to Facebook to post a cryptic quote to her page on April 23.
‘Do you ever wonder how much you exist in other people’s lives?’ the quote read.
‘I’m always curious if people think of me when a certain song comes on, or when they pass through a certain town.’
Jason is understood to have been living at the home with his mother and grandmother.
Neighbours described McCullock as quiet and said she ‘kept to herself’.
‘We didn’t even know someone was living there until Monday night, when we heard music playing in the front room,’ one said.
Shattered next door neighbour Stan Grostate was one of the last people to see the toddler alive.
Neighbours described McCullock as quiet and said she ‘kept to herself’
‘We didn’t even know someone was living there until Monday night, when we heard music playing in the front room,’ a neighbour said of McCullock and her family
He held the little boy on Tuesday night so his mother could have a cigarette.
‘It’s devastating. He was such a cute little boy,’ Mr Grostate said.
‘He smiled a lot, and used to play with my cat whenever they came over.
‘He had just started walking.’
Rodney, who lives nearby, said news of the death had left him shocked.
‘When I was told a baby died my gut hit the floor,’ he said. ‘I went inside and had a cry.’
Forensic police at the Madora Bay home in Perth where a 14-month-old boy was found dead on Wednesday
The toddler’s tragic death rocked shattered Madora Bay locals (pictured) in Perth’s south