Post-mortem reveals baby suffered head injury

Photo / File
Photo / File

Police have launched a homicide investigation following the death of a baby girl in Wanganui from a non-accidental head injury.

Hinekawa Topia, aged 2 months, one of triplets, was driven to Wanganui Hospital by her parents just before 1pm on Thursday as she was not breathing.

Attempts by her father and hospital staff to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

A post-mortem examination had revealed she suffered a head injury considered non-accidental, police said today.

Hinekawa's twin sisters were in hospital for assessment as a precaution and, along with a 5-year-old boy, had been placed in the interim custody of Child Youth and Family.

Staff had not worked with the family previously, a CYF spokeswoman said today.

She was unable to indicate how long the children would remain in CFY custody: "It's watch and see at the moment".

Police were focused on identifying everyone who help to build up a picture of Hinekawa's movements in recent weeks and her health, said Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Forlong.

"There are a number of people that we now need to speak to in detail as Hinekawa has recently stayed at both the family home and with extended whanau.

"We fully acknowledge the sensitivities of cases such as this and it is important that people to not leap to conclusions and start pointing fingers prematurely," he said.

About 20 police staff were working on the inquiry, which involved speaking with medical professionals, the pathologist and Hinekawa's family.

Scene examinations were carried out at a Wanganui house and one in South Taranaki that had been placed under police guard.

The houses have since been released back to the owners.

Police were also sourcing any CCTV footage that might assist with the inquiry.

A funeral for Hinekawa was to take place today (Sunday).

- APNZ

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