Police investigating the killing of toddler Baby Ru have released photos of several items central to the investigation including an image of a piece of fabric that was around his neck.
On October 22 Ruthless-Empire Souljah Reign Rhind Shephard Wall died after arriving at Hutt Hospital unresponsive with severe head injuries.
As of Monday, no arrests have been made.
Today, Detective Inspector Nick Pritchard appealed for information on specific critical evidence.
“We believe that the items were deliberately removed from the Poole St, Taita property and have subsequently been concealed or disposed of.
“Attempts have been made to clean and alter the crime scene before police arrived.”
Police had “determined” that the people seen using a grey-green 1994 Nissan Sentra, registration TE6972, were responsible for disposing of this evidence.
The Nissan travelled to and from the Poole St address three times after Ru was taken to hospital on October 22 and before police were able to secure the scene.
Police are appealing for information on a Provision-ISR NVR5-8200PX+ DRV unit, an Eaton 5E UPS 650VA/360W power backup unit and 2 x NZ Outlets as well as a swatch of duvet cover.
Police were also seeking information about a piece of fabric tied around Ru’s neck when he was taken to hospital.
“Although not a direct cause of his death, the fact that such an item was around his neck is incredibly concerning and we appeal for information from anyone who has seen this item or what it was used for,” Pritchard said.
“The co-operation of our three people of interest is vital to us understanding the truth of what happened to Baby Ru, and ultimately holding those responsible to account.”
Pritchard earlier told the Herald that police were still waiting on toxicology results to come back in relation to the toddler as well as forensic analysis on several items taken from the property where he suffered the fatal injuries.
He said police believed the toddler suffered his injuries on the morning of his death when all three persons of interest were home.
The Herald earlier revealed a piece of fabric, similar to a shoelace and about 30cm long, was allegedly wrapped around Baby Ru’s neck when he arrived at the hospital.
Pritchard confirmed there was a piece of fabric around his neck, but he was unable to draw any conclusions on that because it was not a factor in the cause of his death.
“It’s very unusual and we are trying to unpick what it means, how it got there, and again going back to the people that were in the house at the time. Someone will know the answer to why it was there, but we don’t have an answer at this stage.”
Police were still after sightings of a DVR system believed to contain CCTV footage from the address where the toddler suffered the fatal injuries. Pritchard said the DVR system was a “key piece of evidence”. Police were yet to recover other items they believed were taken from the address.
“Being a CCTV recorder it’s highly likely it’s got footage on it that’s really important to the investigation.
“If you know anything about that, where it is, what happened to it, we’d really like to hear from you.”
He said the case had a number of complexities, which made the investigation challenging.
The hard drive is a Provision-ISR NVR5-8200PX+ DVR.
Police are also looking for sightings of a car used to take the toddler to hospital - a grey-green Nissan sedan, registration number TE6972.
All three persons of interest were in the car at the time it was driven to the hospital.
The car then returned to the address where they lived and items related to the investigation were removed, Pritchard said.
Wall earlier claimed in an interview with the Herald that on the evening of October 21 one of the people in the house told her to go to bed and that they would look after Ru.
About 10pm, he was put into her bed. Wall said he “looked normal”.
“I just gave him a last hug, just checking he’s all right.”
When she woke the next morning, he was “drowsy”. “I thought he was tired.”
She was getting ready to visit a cousin when she heard noises in the house. She claimed she was then told Ru was choking.
She tried doing first aid, “to see if he could get any form of phlegm or anything out and therefore he was getting his grasp of breath”.
She then took him to the hospital.
Asked whether she had any part in her son’s death, she replied: “No, I didn’t.
“I just want justice for my son ... I want justice for my Ru Ru.”
Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers crime. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022 and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.