Beach baby mum’s affluent background
The young mother of a baby found washed up on the beach at Surfers Paradise was a private schoolgirl and a popular university student before she found herself homeless with two kids and a middle-aged boyfriend.
NSW police yesterday issued a murder warrant for the nine-month-old baby's father, who is reported to have told detectives he believed the baby was possessed by demons.
The tiny girl was discovered naked and lifeless on Monday morning after being washed 30km in the ocean while she was still alive.
However, it is understood the girl's mother, a 23-year-old transient from Victoria, has been released from custody without any charges and may be treated as a witness.
As she recovers under the care of Queensland mental health services - and the couple's eldest child is also in state care - new details of her former life have emerged.
According to her online profiles, the mother - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was former student of a private girls school in Victoria and later studied at Deakin University. The profiles show she was described as popular and respected by her peers in school.
According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the baby's father, a 48-year-old from Queensland, was described as a "violent schizophrenic" who had threatened a council worker two months before the baby's death, a court has been told.
A friend of the family, Kirsty Davis, told The Australian the parents approached her at Tweed Heads, just south of the Gold Coast, on Saturday and asked her to take the child as it was "too fair-skinned".
"I wouldn't have minded raising the child but I'm living on the street and I'm not stabilised," Ms Davis told the newspaper. "If I had a place, yeah, I would have."
The father appeared in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday, wearing a white hospital gown. The hearing was briefly delayed because the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced a number of charges that had to be dealt with before the extradition could proceed.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable James Treanor said that after the council worker told the family to move on from sand dunes at Broadbeach about 10.20am on September 5, the man hurled a beer can and abuse at him - calling him a "dog" and a "murderer".
The court was told the father was trying to protect his family and that he had a history of alcoholism, drug addiction and violence. He pleaded guilty to public nuisance and was sentenced to 12 months' jail.
Sunil Dutt, of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, said on Wednesday his client had been in and out of foster care and endured a "very hard life".
The man was eventually released into the custody of NSW detectives and will appear in a Tweed Heads court today.
On Wednesday afternoon, Detective Chief Inspector Brendon McCullum of NSW Police said there was a "very strong geographical nexus" of the incident occurring within Tweed Heads.
"This is an extremely complex investigation. As it crosses jurisdictional boundaries, time zones, and has made what is a very tragic investigation even the more complex," Insp McCullum said.
An autopsy had been held in Brisbane but was yet to be completed. There has been no confirmation on how long the child was in the water.
"This is an ongoing investigation; there is a lot of way to go. We want to find out what happened to this child. We need to put the pieces together," Insp McCullum said.
It is alleged the baby girl was thrown into the Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads in NSW in what Queensland police believe was a "sacrifice". Her empty pram was left alongside the waterway.
The girl's body is believed to have drifted 30km in the current for two days, crossing the state border before washing up at Surfers Paradise beach where she was found by passers-by early on Monday.
Sources familiar with the investigation into the death have told AAP the family of four was tracked on CCTV travelling from the Gold Coast to the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, where the girl was allegedly thrown into the water, on Saturday.
Queensland Police also have images of the mother, father and remaining young child catching a bus at Coolangatta and returning to Queensland, the sources said.
Separate video of the family was obtained by the Daily Mail appeared to show the parents arguing over money at Jack Evans Boat Harbour.
The distressed mother can be heard saying "$940 bucks" and then "I'll give it back, I'll give it back".
Police sources in Queensland allege the mother admitted to knowing about the planned "sacrifice" but only the father would be accused of throwing her into the water.
The 23-year-old mother is not expected to face charges and has been released from custody and placed in the mental health system in Queensland.