The toddler allegedly murdered in Auckland last month is a nephew of one of New Zealand's most violent and notorious killers, the Herald can reveal.
And Oranga Tamariki had been contacted by several people concerned about Malcolm Robert Bell's welfare shortly before the 16 month old died.
Malcolm died on June 29 at Starship Hospital, six days after he was admitted with suspected non-accidental injuries.
Following an intensive investigation, a 51-year-old man was charged with his murder.
The Herald can now reveal new information about Malcolm - who he is and his case.
Malcolm was one of six children and all of his siblings had previously been taken from his mother Savanna Bell. The children are now in foster or whanau care.
Until yesterday Oranga Tamariki would not be drawn on Malcolm's death citing the police investigation.
"Our social workers were aware that people were worried about Malcolm's situation, and were working to provide support to him and his whānau prior to his death," central Auckland regional manager Anna Palmer finally confirmed.
"The tragic death of Malcolm Bell has affected many, and our thoughts are with those who loved him."
Palmer could not go into the specifics of the concerns raised or speak further to the involvement OT has had with Savanna Bell in relation to any of her children.
But she confirmed his case and care would be scrutinised.
"We will be gathering information to understand if anything could have been done differently, and what we can learn from this tragedy.
"Malcolm's death has also been referred to a coroner who will look into the wider circumstances.
"The coroner will consider whether there are lessons that can be learned for the future."
Oranga Tamariki receives 90,000 "Reports of Concerns" about babies, children and young people each year.
"When they are received we need to assess the level of risk and make decisions about what action to take to help keep tamariki safe," Palmer said.
"This is not an easy assessment, and often includes working with other agencies to see what support can be offered.
"It can be difficult to engage with some families because of challenges like transience and complex issues such as addiction."
Savanna Bell, who has not been charged in relation to Malcolm's death, has refused to speak to the Herald.
She is the younger sister of William Dwane Bell who murdered three people during a drug-fuelled robbery at the Mt Wellington Panmure RSA in 2001.
Their father is Michael Bell - but they have different mothers.
Their familial connection was confirmed by several sources close to the family, a police source and the siblings' birth certificates obtained by the Herald.
Bell became one of the worst murderers in New Zealand history when he killed Wayne Johnson, William Absolum and Mary Hobson during a robbery at the RSA on December 8 2001.
Bell also attacked Susan Couch, who survived despite losing 80 per cent of her blood and suffering severe head injuries.
He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 30 years.
In May Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft announced a review into OT's child uplift policies relating to care and protection issues for Māori babies following a controversial attempted uplift of a newborn at Hawkes Bay Hospital.
An internal inquiry by Oranga Tamariki into its processes is also underway.