Daughter accused of beheading mother was laughing with her a day before5 min read

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A daughter was laughing together with her mother just a day before she allegedly stabbed her to death and threw her head in a neighbour’s yard.

Rita Camilleri, 57, was found dead with her body lying in the kitchen of their house in St Clair, western Sydney, about 11.40pm on Saturday.

Her daughter Jessica, 25, allegedly carried her head down the road before leaving it in a neighbour’s front yard. She has been charged with murder.

Friends said the pair were ‘very close’ and were always seen together at the home, with no apparent conflict until the late-night screaming match. 

Rita Camilleri, 57, was found dead with her body lying inside her house and her severed head in a neighbour's front yard down the street

Rita Camilleri, 57, was found dead with her body lying inside her house and her severed head in a neighbour’s front yard down the street

Her daughter Jessica, 25, allegedly carried her head down the road before leaving it in a neighbour's front yard. She has been charged with murder

Her daughter Jessica, 25, allegedly carried her head down the road before leaving it in a neighbour’s front yard. She has been charged with murder

‘Jessica has major mental health issues but Rita always supported her,’ Ms Camilleri’s friend Cathleen Day told Daily Mail Australia.

‘They were very close and there were no signs at all that they weren’t getting on. It’s so sad, I’m devastated.’

A confused neighbour, who was startled to find police putting a tarpaulin over evidence in his front yard, said they were ‘always together’ and had a pet parrot they loved.

Jessica’s best friend said the young woman has been in and out of mental hospitals but the mother and daughter seemed fine.

Officers arrived at Ms Camilleri’s home after neighbours heard a ‘violent argument’ in the kitchen between the two women

‘I saw Jess and her mum the night before, they were fine and laughing,’ she told the Daily Telegraph. 

Jessica did not apply for bail when she faced Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday and will be held for a mental health assessment.

‘I really need medical attention. I told all the officers and told the police at the station,’ she told the court.

‘I cannot move my fingers properly because of the incident. I am not fit to come to jail until I get cleaned up.

‘I could not wash myself properly in the shower to get all the blood off because of my fingers.’

Jessica said she suffered from autism, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. 

Police on Sunday described the scene as ‘one of the most horrific’ they ever had to face, with officers needing counselling after seeing it.  

Ms Camilleri was part of a large family with Maltese heritage and was divorced from Jessica’s father, with whom she had two daughters.

Jessica did not apply for bail when she faced Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday and will be held for a mental health assessment

Jessica did not apply for bail when she faced Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday and will be held for a mental health assessment

Blood on the pavement down the street from the Camilleri house where Jessica allegedly carried her mother’s head

Ms Day, who met Ms Camilleri two years ago through their mutual love of the Bay City Rollers boy band, said her death was devastating. 

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‘I had a bad feeling, Rita always texts me,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘To add to the sadness, Rita was looking after her bedridden frail mother too… this is just horrific.

‘She was fun, irreverent and vibrant. She loved music and was very community minded. She connected with everyone because she was lovely.’

Another neighbour said the mother and daughter ‘seemed normal’ but there were some incidents in the past.

‘They always seemed to have parties, all the time just parties over there, I never heard anything like screaming of shouting,’ they said.

Jessica, 25, allegedly carried her head down the road before leaving it in a neighbour's front yard

Jessica, 25, allegedly carried her head down the road before leaving it in a neighbour’s front yard

Forensics officers investigate the scene of the crime outside the house in western Sydney

Forensics officers investigate the scene of the crime outside the house in western Sydney

Officers have been interviewing neighbours and investigating the circumstances of the overnight incident

Officers have been interviewing neighbours and investigating the circumstances of the overnight incident

‘There had been some issues in the past that had made [Jessica] known to the cops and other groups, but it seems it has gone much further this time.’

Jessica’s manager at Kmart in Mount Druitt said she had not turned up for her cashier job for about a week. Some other staff said they didn’t know who she was.

Officers arrived at Ms Camilleri’s home after neighbours heard a ‘violent argument’ in the kitchen between the two women.

Neighbours ran to help as the sounds of the argument grew more violent, before encountering the severed head on the lawn.

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The daughter was arrested in the front yard of a neighbour’s house and taken to St Mary’s Police Station, and was later charged with murder.

‘This is up there with one of the most significant, most horrific scenes police have had to face,’ Detective Inspector Brett McFadden told reporters.

Neighbours ran to help as the sounds of the argument grew more violent, before encountering the severed head on the lawn

 Neighbours ran to help as the sounds of the argument grew more violent, before encountering the severed head on the lawn

The daughter was arrested in the front yard of a neighbour's house and taken to St Mary's Police Station, and was later charged with murder

The daughter was arrested in the front yard of a neighbour’s house and taken to St Mary’s Police Station, and was later charged with murder 

‘There is no stepping away from the fact that this was horrific and a significant attack, and the injuries that the victim suffered were extensive.

‘It is a very difficult, challenging, confronting investigation. 

‘We are working with the information available to us and working with the family to establish exactly what has happened, but this is not anything that was foreseeable.’ 

Multiple knives were seized at the scene and are being forensically examined.

Ms Camilleri is believed to have been babysitting a four-year-old grandson on Saturday night. He is not the accused woman’s son.

The little boy sustained a minor head injury and was taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital but has since been released. 

‘He is being cared for by his family and getting medical support during the course of the day. The family is distraught as to what has taken place,’ Inspector McFadden said.

Officers have been interviewing neighbours and investigating the circumstances of the overnight incident.