Police make arrest in Whanganui baby death

Tuesday 17 July 2012, 1:22PM

By New Zealand Police



Today police in Whanganui made an arrest following the death of two-month-old Hinekawa TOPIA on 12 January 2012.

A 29-year-old Whanganui man will appear in the Whanganui District Court today (Tuesday, 17 July) charged with the murder of Hinekawa and a number of other charges.

The officer in charge of the case Detective Senior Sergeant Neil FORLONG stated: "A small team of staff have worked tirelessly on the inquiry and recently medical information came to hand that has ultimately resulted in this arrest."

As the case is now before the court Police will not be making any further comment about the information that led to the arrest. Also no further information will be provided in relation to the man charged or the additional charges he faces until such time that the court has had a chance to consider the need for any suppression orders.

On 13 January 2012 Whanganui Police launched a homicide investigation following the death of two month old Hinekawa TOPIA.

Hinekawa had been driven to Wanganui Hospital by her parents shortly before 1pm on Thursday, 12 January. She was not breathing and attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful. Police were contacted by the hospital at approximately 1.20pm.

A post mortem concluded that Hinekawa had suffered a head injury, considered non-accidental.

Hinekawa was one of triplets and the remaining two babies were placed in the care of Child Youth and Family.

At the height of the inquiry up to twenty staff were working on the case.