‘He was neglected in life and death’
FAMILY and friends of the "gorgeous little boy" who tragically died in suspicious circumstances have come forward heartbroken to say they feel he was let down by the system.
Detectives are investigating the death of the nine-month-old twin boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, found dead in his family's Raceview home on June 21.
At the time, the dead child's twin brother was hospitalised with severe malnutrition and has since been released in the care of others.
A relative has come forward saying they are struggling to cope with the boy's death and will always remember his "beautiful blue eyes and dark curly hair".
"Random strangers in the street would fall in love with his cheeky grin," the relative said.
"He was so happy. He loved his toys, especially his piano and loved crawling and playing with everyone. We loved him with all our hearts and cherish the moments we had with him."
A close family friend of the family also spoke out.
They claim before the boy's death, multiple reports were made to the department from people expressing concern for his safety.
"It's devastating to know there was potential opportunity for him to still be here if something more was done," they said.
Another close friend of the family claimed Department of Child Safety had visited the home just 24 hours before the child was found dead.
"She (the child's mother) had an appointment with child services the day before that she never kept. To me that should have rung alarm bells," the friend said.
The friend described how the twin boys were severely underweight, dehydrated and had nappy rashes from the knees up that looked like "third degree burns".
"Child services should have done more to protect him," they said.
"I think his life could have been saved if they had done their job properly.
The friend was "disgusted" that a child had died and nothing had been done.
"He was a gorgeous little boy and it's just a shame because he deserved better than what he got," they said.
"He was neglected in birth and neglected in death too."
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said while she could not comment on individual cases, her heart went out to the family and community who knew the child.
"I know everyone wants answers and so do I," Ms Farmer said.
"But we need this to be done properly and we need to allow police and the Coroner the time and space to do their job.
"However, what I can say is that where a child who is known to the child protection system dies or suffers a serious injury there is a two-tier review process in place to make sure it is thoroughly investigated."
Detective Inspector David Briese said today that the cause of death was yet to be confirmed and police were waiting on the results of pathology tests.
He said the investigation had been running "non-stop" since the crime scene was established and appealed for anyone who knew the family to contact police.
"At this time, we're appealing to anyone who may know that family, who has an understanding of the habits around the family and the children from that family to come forward,"
"We would ask that those persons come forward with any sort of information, no matter how small or how big they think it is."