GARDAI have launched a murder investigation after a post mortem on the body of a young girl found with serious head injuries at an apartment in Cork.
Gardaí battled to save the life of the two-year-old girl on Friday morning.
Officers were alerted to the scene after neighbours reported a disturbance inside an apartment at the Elderwood complex on Boreenmanna Road at 5.18am.
Independent.ie understands that two officers found the toddler critically injured upon arrival. It’s understood she suffered from suspected fractures, multiple bruising and cuts. There was also a considerable amount of blood at the scene.
The officers administered CPR until paramedics arrived in an attempt to save the two-year-old’s life.
She was rushed to Cork University Hospital, but pronounced dead several hours later.
She has been named locally as Santina Cauley.
On Saturday, gardai confirmed that they have started a murder investgation.
“The post mortem of an infant girl (2 years) who died at Cork University Hospital yesterday morning 5th July 2019 has been completed by Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Margot Bolster,” a press officer said.
“The results will not be released for operational reasons. Gardaí have commenced a murder investigation.
“Gardaí are appealing to any person who was in the Elderwood Apartment complex between 4pm on Thursday 4th July 2019 and 6am Friday 5th July 2019, who has not already spoken to Gardaí to come forward. Anyone with information can contact Gardaí at Anglesea Street Station on 021 452 2000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”
The toddler lived in the apartment with her father and his partner, who is not the child’s mother.
The complex was sealed off yesterday to allow Garda forensic experts to conduct a technical examination inside the second-storey apartment. Another apartment nearby was also inspected and remained cordoned off throughout the day.
Gardaí carried out door-to-door enquiries in the Elderwood complex yesterday afternoon and also established an incident room at Anglesea Street garda station. No arrests have been made at this time.
A number of neighbours said they were woken up in the early hours of yesterday morning by a commotion coming from the second-floor apartment.
“My daughter came running into me at around 3am because there was a lot of shouting and banging coming from upstairs,” one resident said.
“The noise continued on and off for about two hours, which made me very concerned. I was thankful when I saw gardaí arrive.
“When I found out that a little girl had died I was so upset and shocked.”
Another resident told the Irish Independent the locality had experienced several tragedies in recent years.
“Not too long ago, a young boy who lived in these apartments lost his life and before that another child died following a car accident.
“We’re all so shocked that this young girl has lost her life in this way, but I’m sure our small community will offer their love and support to her family,” he said.
According to Councillor Des Cahill, the local community has been rocked by yesterday morning’s events.
“People are deeply shocked and upset regarding the circumstances, it’s just awful,” Cllr Cahill told the Irish Independent.
“All I can really say is that my sincere thoughts and prayers go to this young girl’s family.”
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who was in the complex between 4pm on Thursday and 6am yesterday to come forward.
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