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A large, white-brick home in suburban Queensland is the site of one of the ‘most bizarre’ crime scenes a top detective has seen in three decades – after strangers died in a suspected murder-suicide pact. 

Sonja Kovacevic, 48, and Barry Houston, 52, were found dead with gunshot wounds in a Caloundra West backyard, on the Sunshine Coast, about 6.30pm on Monday by police officers conducting a welfare check. 

It is understood Mr Houston, from Brown Plains south of Brisbane, travelled to the area to meet Ms Kovacevic, a local, after the pair connected on social media.  

Police believe the pair met up with the intention of taking their own lives and carefully orchestrated a ‘clinical’ plan to carry out the act.

Sonja Kovacevic, 48, and Barry Houston, 52, died in a suspected murder-suicide pact at a Caloundra West home (pictured) after meeting on social media

Sonja Kovacevic, 48, and Barry Houston, 52, died in a suspected murder-suicide pact at a Caloundra West home (pictured) after meeting on social media

Sonja Kovacevic, 48, and Barry Houston, 52, died in a suspected murder-suicide pact at a Caloundra West home (pictured) after meeting on social media 

The pair were found dead with gunshot wounds in the backyard of the Teal Street property (pictured)

The pair were found dead with gunshot wounds in the backyard of the Teal Street property (pictured)

The pair were found dead with gunshot wounds in the backyard of the Teal Street property (pictured) 

The sleek property has three bedrooms that branch off to the right of the main hallway (pictured) which runs from the front entrance to the end of the home

The sleek property has three bedrooms that branch off to the right of the main hallway (pictured) which runs from the front entrance to the end of the home

The sleek property has three bedrooms that branch off to the right of the main hallway (pictured) which runs from the front entrance to the end of the home

It remains unclear how many people were living in the house at the time of the tragedy. 

Ms Kovacevic phoned police prior to the incident, telling officers she planned to take her own life, the Courier Mail reports. 

Police believe Mr Houston then shot her with a high-powered rifle before turning the gun on himself. 

The unusual case has baffled seasoned detectives who described it as the most bizarre crime scene they had witnessed in decades.  

Property records show the three-bedroom home was last sold in late 2018 before new tenants moved in six months ago in August. 

With a sleek modern design, the spacious family-sized home sits nondescript alongside the other natural-toned lowset properties lining the residential street. 

The property features a double-lock up garage, with the three bedrooms branching to the right off the main hallway that runs from the entrance through to the backyard. 

To the left, a polished kitchen faces towards the rear of the house, across the living room and through glass windows overlooking a neatly-kept garden. 

The kitchen looks out over the living room  (pictured) towards the back garden

The kitchen looks out over the living room  (pictured) towards the back garden

The kitchen looks out over the living room  (pictured) towards the back garden

An alfresco dining area sits on the other side of a glass sliding door in the main bedroom

An alfresco dining area sits on the other side of a glass sliding door in the main bedroom

An alfresco dining area sits on the other side of a glass sliding door in the main bedroom

Detective Acting Inspector John Mahony said police were working to establish how long the pair had been communicating through analysis of their digital devices.

‘Investigations thus far suggest the 52-year-old male person has ended the life of the 48-year-old woman and then a very short time later has ended his own life,’ Inspector Mahony said.

Police said the deaths were so meticulously planned the incident seemed ‘clinical’, with evidence showing items had been packed into boxes before the shootings. 

It is understood Ms Kovacevic, who was involved in a Family Court matter at the time of her death, was known to police for non-criminal matters. 

Neighbours said Ms Kovacevic had appeared melancholy in recent weeks, with one residents saying she hoped the woman was now in a ‘better place’ and sending condolences to her family. 

Detective Acting Inspector John Mahony (pictured) said it appeared Mr Houston shot Ms Kovacevic before turning the gun on himself

Detective Acting Inspector John Mahony (pictured) said it appeared Mr Houston shot Ms Kovacevic before turning the gun on himself

Detective Acting Inspector John Mahony (pictured) said it appeared Mr Houston shot Ms Kovacevic before turning the gun on himself 

Other residents said they were shocked by the tragedy in their typically-quiet suburb after hearing loud bangs ring out on Monday night. 

Caloundra, the southernmost town on the Sunshine Coast, is a well-known holiday hotspot, with a population of around 51,000.  

The tragedy comes just weeks after the suspected murder-suicide deaths of a mother and two children in Perth. 

Abiyah, 10, and Aiden Selvan, eight, died in a car fire alongside their mother Selvamma Doreswamy, 40, at John Graham Reserve, Coogee, on March 14.  

The deaths of the ‘normal’, ‘happy’ family rocked the tight-knit community of Canning Vale, in the city’s south, where a memorial has emerged outside the children’s school, Providence Christian College. 

The children’s father Selvan Govindhan Vairavan received the heartbreaking news on the first day of a US trip to visit a sick relative.   

He has since returned home as he prepares to farewell his wife and two young children.  

For confidential support in Australia, contact Lifeline: 13 11 14, Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636, or Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467.

Source: DailyMail

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