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The family of a man believed to be a suspect in the murder of 6-month-old Serenity-Jay Scott-Dinnington say he is not the child's killer.
A post-mortem examination has been completed on Serenity, who died of non-accidental injuries and is the subject of a murder inquiry. The results are due to be released today.
Serenity's mother, Chelsea Erin Scott, her fiance, Mathew Ellery, Miss Scott's father, Rob Newman, and other family members were with the baby in the Starship hospital when her life support was turned off on Thursday evening.
Police have not said who their suspects are in her murder.
Mr Ellery and Serenity's uncle, Drew Scott, both lived with her, her 4-year-old brother, Travis, and their mother in their Ngaruawahia house.
It is understood the two young men were taken to the Huntly police station for questioning after an ambulance took Serenity to hospital, accompanied by her mother.
Yesterday, the Weekend Herald visited the home of Mr Ellery's grandparents in Whatawhata, west of Hamilton. A man there, believed to be his grandfather, said Mr Ellery was innocent.
"We are close to the boy and we know where he is and know what he is doing but that's nobody else's business," he said.
"You can put that he's innocent. We know the boy, very, very well."
The Waikato Times reported that Mr Ellery has been unemployed for five years.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene said the investigation was progressing well and police had spoken to a number of people, but wanted to speak to anyone who knew anything about how Serenity got her injuries.
He said a lot of discussion had taken place in Ngaruawahia and around New Zealand - both in conversations and in online chatrooms - since Serenity was first admitted to hospital, but it needed to be shared with investigators.
Mr Greene would not comment on reports that Serenity had been subjected to shaking or if the people living at the house were known to the police.
He also would not say who the core group of suspects were in the police inquiry. "That will be determined as the investigation goes forward. We are at the early stages, of course, and we are in for a long investigation, I would imagine."
Yesterday, a large police contingent continued their investigation at the Havelock Rd property - one of three homes on a large section.
A neighbouring property had two signs hanging over its front fence, one reading, "Lovely homes make lovely kids", and the other, "We need to love our children".
A woman who lived there said the signs were put up in reaction to what had happened to Serenity.
Joe Tairakena, the couple's immediate neighbour and a caretaker at Waipa School across the road from their home, said he never saw any signs of abuse but often heard children crying.
He could only ever remember seeing Serenity on one occasion as she was being buckled in her car seat.
Her brother Travis was sometimes running around alone at the school and the principal would ask Mr Tairakena, "Whose kid is this ?"
"It was a bit strange, you know. You come home in the middle of the day during summer and all their curtains would be closed and all the windows shut."
Mr Tairakena said the couple, and Chelsea Scott's brother Drew, would drink alcohol on their doorstep, often until late into the night.
"They were just partying all hours of the night. They were just annoying bloody neighbours."
He said Mr Ellery approached him about doing some part-time work at the school for community service so he would be eligible for an unemployment benefit.
But Mr Ellery showed up only twice. His work time totalled little more than an hour. "He was pretty bloody hopeless," said Mr Tairakena.