Monday, 30 August 2010

SIDS: Sydney, Australia, investigation

Tim Barlass August 22, 2010

" I just want her back" ... Liz Weippeart and her son Chris, pictured at their Tregear home, say they have been left out of the loop by police in the investigation surrounding Chris's missing six- year-old daughter Kiesha. Photo: Anthony Johnson
THE baby boy born to the parents of missing six-year-old Kiesha had been living at their home for only three days when he was found dead, his family has revealed.
His grandmother, Liz Weippeart, said Aiden died from sudden infant death syndrome, more commonly referred to as a cot death.
Ms Weippeart feared that police attention after Kiesha's disappearance could focus on the child's death in 2002.
Police said yesterday they had no plans to exhume the body of the six-week-old child.
But Detective Inspector Russell Oxford said: "We will check the investigation was conducted thoroughly at the time to see if there is anything that would connect to this case."
Chris Weippeart, the biological father of Kiesha, and Liz, her grandmother, gave their first interview since Kiesha disappeared.
It was three weeks yesterday since she was first reported missing from her home near Mount Druitt by her mother Kristi Abrahams and stepfather Robert Smith.
Ms Weippeart, fighting back tears, said: "The day Aiden came out of hospital he lived here with me for the first six weeks. She [Kristi] didn't feel like a mother and didn't feel like it was her child because she had a caesarean section and she didn't want to walk up the two flights of stairs [at their unit]. All three of them stayed here for the first six weeks.
"Three days after they moved out, Chris came running in and said, ‘Mum, Aiden's blue.'
"I went running up the street with Chris. Aiden was deceased three days after leaving my house."
That happened before the couple's relationship broke down and Kristi moved in with Mr Smith, taking Kiesha with her.
Ms Weippeart and her son also told how Kiesha had been in hospital after she was bitten on the upper arm.
Ms Weippeart said: "My son brought her down here and we took her to Mount Druitt Hospital and she was in there for three days.
"I have got a 10-year-old boy who is asking me questions: ‘Mummy will the police find her [Kiesha]?' I say: ‘The police are doing the best they can to bring her home safely."'
Detectives are awaiting results of DNA tests understood to have been taken from bedding and furniture from Kiesha's bedroom.
The family also confirmed that Kiesha had previously been in care and the family was known to the Department of Community Services. The revelations raise more questions about the role of DOCS, now under investigation by NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour in relation to its and other key agencies' "relevant activities" before Kiesha's disappearance.
Ms Weippeart complained she and her son had not been kept up to date on police progress. "It would be a common courtesy to come and see the family, especially the father."
She also questioned why everyone was calling her Kiesha Abrahams when the name on her birth certificate is Weippeart. She said: "I know where Aiden is. I can go and see Aiden every day. I know where my grandson is, but where's my granddaughter?
"She was such a happy-go-lucky kid. She was the most beautiful thing. The only problem I had with her was trying to get her to eat her vegies."
Inspector Oxford said: "We have got a death in the family and now this second child has disappeared. You would hope for the best but she may no longer be alive, and that would be the second one ... And, yes, the child was bitten and some action taken against the person who bit the child."
He said Kiesha's location during the seven days before she was reported missing on August 1 remained a focus of the investigation.
"It is now three weeks and the hope of finding her alive are very, very slim, even remote," he said.
Mr Weippeart said: "She used to run amok all the time. She used to love just playing. She was content with her toys – Pooh Bear and a bouncing Tigger.
"I just want her found. I just want my daughter back. I just want my daughter back – that's it."

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