Police divers looking for evidence after the death of a Gold Coast toddler. (AAP image, John Gass)
Police divers looking for evidence after the death of a Gold Coast toddler. (AAP image, John Gass)

The final call to cops days before baby girl’s death

POLICE were called to a park where a baby was screaming and adults arguing less than three days before the young girl's body was found washed up on a Gold Coast beach.

Broadbeach police received a phone call from a worker in the area at 9.50am on Friday. He was concerned about the baby's cries and the yelling between the adults.

The family of the dead girl had been living in the park, on and off, for three months. It is a regular haunt for the homeless.

The former Gold Coast home of the nine-month-old baby girl found dead in the surf at Surfers Paradise.
The former Gold Coast home of the nine-month-old baby girl found dead in the surf at Surfers Paradise.

"My worker had heard a baby crying," the manager of the business told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"He rang the police at 9.50am - it's on his phone. He heard a young baby crying and an adult was yelling. My bloke was that concerned about the kid screaming. They (the police) didn't come to us at all. I don't know if they sent anybody down to check on the people in the park."

Police yesterday said they "did respond to all calls for service relating to this family and appropriate police action was taken".

Police divers looking for evidence at Tweed Heads. (AAP image, John Gass)
Police divers looking for evidence at Tweed Heads. (AAP image, John Gass)

Police allege the baby died between about 6.45pm on Saturday and 11am on ­Sunday. Her body was found just after midnight Monday, washed up in the surf ­opposite Staghorn Ave at Surfers Paradise.

"It would be inappropriate to provide specifics in relation to these actions as this matter is before the courts and this will form part of the prosecution case that New South Wales police now have carriage of," a spokesman for Police Minister Mark Ryan said yesterday.

A tribute to the baby that was found dead on the beach in Surfers Paradise near Staghorn Ave. Photo: Tertius Pickard
A tribute to the baby that was found dead on the beach in Surfers Paradise near Staghorn Ave. Photo: Tertius Pickard

The Gold Coast Bulletin asked whether the baby was ever subjected to a SCAN team referral in Queensland and NSW, which would have ensured cross-agency support such as housing and mental health services, or a temporary child protection order was considered.

Police again said it was impossible to respond to the questions given the 48-year-old father was being extradited from Tweed Heads after a warrant was issued for arrest on the charge of murder.

After becoming aware of the baby's death, the manager of the Broadbeach business visited the park and spoke to some of the homeless people.

"I spoke to one of the park girls. She said it was the young baby who had been there. She said 'look at my arm'." The woman had marks from a scuffle.

"They sleep overnight, two or three stay all the time. I said later to the lady (a police officer) did the police send anyone down and she was not sure."

The Gold Coast Bulletin has detailed at least two other occasions since May this year for which residents have sought out both police and homeless support services.

The council, welfare workers and a homeless support group were first contacted when the family was camping rough at Sydney Hamilton Park in Garfield Tce at Surfers Paradise. Police later took the father and children away.

A follow-up phone call was made to police during that intervention in May only for the resident to be reassured that Child Safety Services were involved.

Three months later after the family placed two mattresses in front of trees at the Broadbeach State School, a resident alerted police only for the campsite to be abandoned a few days later.



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