Parents left baby that died unattended

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 14:32 03/01/2013

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The parents of a five-week-old boy found dead in South Auckland left him at home while they went next door, police have said.

It's understood the parents were drinking at the neighbour's property.

Child, Youth and Family had been called in and the police Child Protection Team were investigating after the baby died suddenly in its cot in Manurewa on Tuesday.

Detective Inspector Jim Gallagher said the death was "delicate", with police yet to determine whether charges would be laid or if the matter would instead be referred to the Coroner.

"This is basically equivalent to a cot death. However, there are some features that we need to verify and be satisfied about the truthfulness of what we’ve been told.

"But you’ve got to remember these are parents who have just lost a five-week old baby."

Police will liaise with their legal team to work out whether charges should be laid.

When the child was discovered unconscious, several emergency services were called.

The fire service attended to assist police by supplying thermal imaging equipment, as it was very hot in the room when officers arrived. Paramedics were also at the scene but were unable to resuscitate the baby.

Meanwhile, a nine-month-old Rotorua baby remains in stable condition at Auckland's Starship Hospital after suffering head injuries.

Child Youth and Family are investigating how the child suffered the serious injuries, police said.

A Rotorua Police spokesman said officers were called to a Selwyn Heights home after a family member raised the alarm with a neighbour.

Police arrived at the Korimako St house about 6.15pm on Friday, where the baby had been in the care of extended family, he said.

The baby was initially taken to Rotorua Hospital but later transferred to Starship.

No charges have been laid.

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