An Australian father may have thrown his 9-month-old baby into the water on purpose, police say
The 9-month-old baby found dead on a Gold Coast beach on Monday was allegedly thrown into a harbour at Tweed Heads by her father in what police say may have been a form of "sacrifice", the ABC is reporting.
The baby's body is believed to have drifted in the water for two days before washing up at Surfers Paradise beach where she was found after midnight on Monday.
Detectives are investigating whether the father, who is homeless, allegedly "sacrificed" the child, whose pram was found on the water's edge near Jack Evans Boat Harbour.
The parents of the child were known to police, and were found in Broadbeach on Monday along with a four-year-old boy who has been taken into care.
The mother of the baby has been released from custody and is being assessed by mental health authorities, while a 48-year-old man, believed to be the baby's father, was expected to be extradited from Queensland to New South Wales today.
The family of four was tracked on CCTV travelling from the Gold Coast to Jack Evans Boat Harbour on Saturday and Queensland police then captured images of three of them catching a bus at Coolangatta and returning to Queensland, sources said.
Police sources in Queensland alleged the mother admitted to knowing about the planned "sacrifice" but only the father would be accused of throwing her into the water.
Tweed Heads resident Willem Ungermann said the baby's parents regularly frequented the park near the Jack Evans Boat Harbour.
He said he had seen the mother changing the nine-month-old in the last week.
"They seemed like normal people. We said 'hello' and stuff like that," he said.
"They looked totally fine."
Mr Ungermann said the couple lived in a van, and said there had been a spike in homelessness in the area.
"It's got very, very bad over the last two years."