"Trails" of "vomit" and mess were found at the last place Rotorua baby Karlos Stephens allegedly stayed before he died, a court has been told.
Shane Claude Roberts, 61, is standing trial for the murder of Karlos Stephens some time between November 29 and 30, 2014.
The 10-month-old's co-carers - Roberts' family - all took the stand today recounting their last memories of Karlos and the house Roberts had last stayed at with the baby.
The court had previously been told Baby Karlos died from "significant" head trauma that caused bleeding to the surface of his brain and behind his eyes.
The Crown argues Roberts assaulted the baby causing the fatal injuries and was "reckless" as to whether he died or not, but Roberts' lawyer asked the jury to question whether it was "truly a case of murder" or if Roberts was even the person responsible.
Rachel Broughton, Roberts' ex-partner and the mother of his three daughters, took the stand today, saying that when the Karlos and his twin brother came into Roberts' care from their mother Pamela Stephens in May or June 2014, they were "undernourished", "uncared for" and "tiny for their age".
She said Roberts discussed with her in May 2014 about taking care of Karlos as his mother was "struggling", but she had not agreed.
She remembered being in "shock" when a week later, Stephens and Roberts turned up at her house "out of the blue" with two babies.
Roberts began taking full-time care of the boys not long after that, she said, and two of her daughters began helping Roberts with the twins.
She said they were "all concerned" about the boys and the situation.
She was initially unhappy about the arrangement but wanted the boys to be in a "safe house" at her place.
She referred to Roberts's Alison St home as a "bachelor house" that did not have power.
"It was not a place to be bringing babies up ... someone had to keep them safe."
The twin boys were shared between Roberts and Broughton and she remembered Karlos as a "good baby". He had put on weight, was learning to crawl and was beginning to teethe.
The week of his death in November 2014, she said he had been "out of sorts" and had spewed up on one occasion.
The last phone call she had with the baby before he died, she remembered him crying and being "grizzly", she told the court.
Broughton and her children were in Christchurch when they got a phone call from Roberts in a "hysterical" state, telling them that Karlos had died, she said.
She arrived back at her Homedale St home early to find it "a bit messy" and smelling of "vomit". It was clear that Roberts had been there with the boys, she said.
Roberts told Broughton he didn't know what had happened but he found Karlos "floppy", she told the court.
Cross-examining Broughten, Roberts' lawyer Simon Lance asked her about Karlos spewing up. She said he would occasionally do it with his food but it was not something she had previously been concerned about.
Roberts' twin daughters, Fawn and Finesse Broughton, were also called to the stand this afternoon.
Fawn said she remembered her dad telling her Karlos had the "flu" the day before he died and told her he would take the baby to the doctor if things worsened.
When she returned home to her mum's Homedale address the day of Karlos' death, she remembered "trails" of "milky vomit" between two rooms in the house.
Under cross-examination, Lance told Fawn she had not mentioned the vomit to police in a statement back in 2014.
She shrugged her shoulders and said the police must not have asked her about it.
Fawn told her dad in the dock that she loved him, after she returned to the public gallery, and he told her he loved her too.
Finesse also told the court she remembered vomit on the floor of the Homedale address and "everywhere throughout the house".
She described the house as "messy" the day Karlos died with "random" items strewn throughout, she said.
Her dad had told her that Karlos had died at the Homedale address, she said.
Yesterday Karlos' mum Pamela Stephens told the court Roberts turned up at the Alison St house with the "basically dead" baby and they rushed him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The trial continues.