Indigenous mum ‘begged’ police for baby before death
A resident at a unit complex where an Aboriginal baby girl died on Sunday says he heard the child's mother "begging" police not to separate them when she was arrested.
Police arrested a 21-year-old Aboriginal woman at a home in Katherine, 300 kilometres south of Darwin, on Sunday morning.
She was still in police custody when her baby girl died at home later that day. The woman also has a five-year-old daughter.
Neighbour Jason Fuller said he heard the mother return a few hours later and become distraught.
"She was saying, 'I need my baby, I want my little girl' she was begging the cops, wanted to get back her child," he told ABC News.
"When she got back from the watch house she was crying and smashing everything. She was crying herself to death."
NT Police revealed on Wednesday afternoon they were investigating the death of the four-month old in Katherine on Sunday morning.
However, they also said "the death is not being considered suspicious and police are waiting on results of an autopsy".
The woman was arrested prior to the baby's death after reports of quarrelling.
They left the woman's two children, a five-month-old baby and a five-year-old girl, in the house with their father and grandfather who had been drinking.
They did not say whether they knew the woman had a baby or another young child believed to be in the same house or did anything to ensure their wellbeing.
"This is a tragic event and the police are focused on completing a thorough investigation into all of the circumstances," a police statement said.
Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne said she was "aware of the tragic death of the baby in Katherine and received a briefing on Wednesday morning".
Ms Gwynne said she had "formally requested further information and is undertaking preliminary inquiries including a review of family history and interactions with services" before she decides whether to investigate fully.
Originally published as Mum 'begged' police for baby before death