QLD_CP_NEWS_GREATESTSHAVE_18FEB20
QLD_CP_NEWS_GREATESTSHAVE_18FEB20

Daycare ‘devastated’ by death of child

POLICE are searching for answers about the death of a child found inside a daycare minibus at a Cairns primary school.

The three-year-old boy was discovered by the driver of the minibus which was parked out the front of Hambledon State School, Edmonton, yesterday afternoon.

A Goodstart Early Learning spokeswoman said the organisation would work with authorities to investigate the matter.

The Goodstart Early Learning Centre at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The Goodstart Early Learning Centre at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"Goodstart Early Learning is devastated by the death of a child in our care in Cairns," she said.

"We are working to support the entire centre team, our families and our children.

"Our thoughts are very much with the family of the child at this time."

The child's mother has been informed.

Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. Police forensic officers arrive at the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. Police forensic officers arrive at the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Detective Inspector Jason Smith said the three-year-old was due to be delivered to daycare.

"The death of any child is an awful thing, which is why it's so important to get to the bottom of it," he said.

"We're trying to work out what happened between now and when it should have been be delivered to the daycare.

"Forensics are on site and we will conduct a full scientific investigation."

Detective Inspector Jason Smith at the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Detective Inspector Jason Smith at the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

When asked if it was a heat-related death, Det Insp Smith said: "We don't know at this stage because it is early days, and a number of factors could be at play here."

Cairns detectives from the Child Protection Investigation Unit are investigating.

Police and forensic investigators cordoned off the scene at the far end inside the school carpark after the discovery about 3.15pm yesterday.

A police forensic officer inspects the van. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A police forensic officer inspects the van. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Three police vans were parked around the minibus to shield it from public view as the afternoon school traffic went by.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.



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