Baby remains in critical condition

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 11:52 03/09/2013
Baby investigation
ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ

INVESTIGATION: Police investigate the Princes St house in Invercargill from where a 3-week-old baby was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Invercargill baby

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Fifteen police staff are still investigating the "violent attack" that left a baby with life-threatening injuries and they expect the investigation to continue for weeks.

Three-week-old Noklair Milton is still in the intensive care paediatric unit at Starship Children's Hospital this morning and remains in a critical condition.

Today, Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Invercargill, said the criminal investigation would take "weeks as opposed to days" and the three-week-old remained in hospital in Auckland.

He was tight-lipped on where the parents of the baby were and would not confirm whether they were at their daughter's bedside.

No arrests have been made, but police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

The arrived at Starship Children's Hospital about 7pm last night after being transferred from Southland Hospital, a hospital spokesperson said.

Noklair is the daughter of David and Sucharitta Milton, of Princes St, Invercargill.

Police were called to the property by one of the parents about 5.30am yesterday.

Neighbours said they heard a loud bang before emergency services arrived at the scene.

Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Invercargill, said he was not willing to elaborate on the nature of the injuries or how they were caused.

He said only that the baby's parents were in the house at the time of the incident.

Mr Jensen said police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident.

Police had not been called to the house previously, he said.

Vona Tokona, a neighbour of the family, said the Miltons were a quiet but friendly couple.

Mrs Tokona said she was surprised to see police cordoning off the house with tape and officers at the house yesterday because the couple had always been friendly and good neighbours.

"I can't imagine it because they are so quiet and they were always so happy-go-lucky."

The baby was the first child the couple had together, she said.

Both parents were often at home because Mr Milton had a back problem and his wife had finished studying last year.

"He [the father David Milton] brought the baby over to see me on Friday," Mrs Tokona said.

He came over and told me he had a daughter."

She said Mr Milton told her the baby was sleeping during the day but not at night.

He said that the couple had been taking turns sleeping while the other stayed up and looked after the baby and tried to get her back to sleep, Mrs Tokona said.

The couple had been tired, but they seemed to be coping, she said.

"I'm very fond of them, they are very good neighbours."

Yesterday afternoon, police set up a tent on the footpath outside the property, where there were "items of interest", Mr Jensen said.

But he would not elaborate on the nature of the items.

He said police would spend the next couple of days completing a scene examination.

What looked like blood could be seen on the footpath and police were taking photos of the area.

Mr Jensen would not say whether the parents had accompanied their infant daughter to the hospital, but said the couple were speaking with police in regards to the incident.

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"The family are being supported by Victim Support and friends."

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