Toddler's injuries were not an accident

Wednesday 4 March 2009, 7:30AM
By New Zealand Police


Police investigating the death of 3-year-old Cherishsiliala (Cherish) Tahuri-Wright are now able to confirm that the injuries she suffered were not accidental and that a homicide investigation has been launched.

Cherish was found with head injuries at a house in Ahuru Street, Marton around midday on Tuesday, February 17. She was taken to hospital and put on life support and when that life support was switched off late the following night (Wednesday, February 18) she died a short time later.

A post mortem was carried out and since then investigating officers have been consulting with pathologists, paediatricians and other medical experts over the results to establish how the injuries would have been caused.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan of Palmerston North Police, said: "Cases involving children are always emotionally charged so it has been important for us to take our time liaising with medical professionals and not jump to any conclusions.

"Following detailed consultation we are satisfied that the injuries could not have been caused by accident and that we are in fact investigating a homicide. We took the stance from the outset to be thorough in our investigation and our examination of the house knowing that homicide was always a possibility. Now I have confirmation that the injuries were not accidental I take comfort in knowing that those thorough actions will assist us in seeking justice for Cherish and her family."

The investigation is continuing. No charges have been laid as yet.

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