Police still probing tot's death

By Kristin Edge


A team of police continue to work through evidence in relation to the death of a Northland 1-year-old.

Atreyu Taylor-Matene was admitted to Whangarei Base Hospital after receiving significant head injuries in his Carlton Cres home in Kamo, on Friday, July 12.

He was flown to Starship Hospital, where he died that evening. Police launched a homicide inquiry.

Head of the police team, Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Burke, said there were still 10 officers working their way through the evidence which included interviews with more than 50 people.

Police spent four days at the Kamo home collecting forensic evidence and a post-mortem examination on baby Atreyu was also done.

"We still have a team working on the matter to determine who inflicted the injuries on baby Atreyu," Mr Burke said.

"We are preparing for the long haul."

He said police had regular contact with the child's parents and were keeping them informed of the investigation's progress.

Atreyu's mother, Jessica Taylor-McGahey, and her boyfriend shared custody with Atreyu's father, Joshua Matene, and grandparents in Auckland.

Police have since said that there were only two people in the house at the time the 1-year-old suffered fatal head injuries - his mother and her new partner Chris Whaley.

A neighbour living on the street said it was "a real concern" and "very strange" that there had been no word from police and the news on the case had died down.

"We haven't heard anything for ages."

She said the couple never spoke to anyone in the street.

"They would never speak to anybody and just kept to themselves the whole time."

The woman believed Ms Taylor had only been living there "a few weeks" at the time of the baby boy's death and had since moved out.

"Nobody knew there was even a baby living there."

Another neighbour said she hadn't seen Ms Taylor-McGahey for weeks, but Mr Whaley was still living in the house.

"We hear the car at night," she said.

Police renewed their call for information about a woman seen on Carlton Cres about 10am on the day Atreyu died.

The woman is described as aged about 20, dark-skinned, slim and about 1.65m tall.

She had dark hair tied back and was wearing a dark grey hoodie, light grey trackpants with two stripes down the legs and black Chuck Taylor-style shoes.

If you know who this woman could be contact Whangarei Police Station on 09 430 4500.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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