Shocking claims: Girl, 4, dead in cot 'for days'
THE father of a four-year-old girl found dead in her Cannon Hill home on Monday allegedly claimed he found his daughter dead in her cot on Saturday morning, as shocking new details emerge about her condition.
Mark James Dunn, 43, has been charged with the girl's murder and had his matter briefly mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
It is alleged the girl was murdered on or about Saturday May 23, court documents say.
Dunn allegedly claimed he found the girl dead in her cot on that date but The Courier-Mail understands forensic investigators are still working to determine exactly how and when the girl died.
She was found at the home in Bent St, Cannon Hill, on Monday morning.
It is understood she was found in her cot decomposed.
She had sores on her hips down to the bone.
Police will allege the girl was malnourished and had been left in her room without food.
Dunn did not appear in court in person and the case was adjourned until July 20.
He was charged under the new extended definition of murder, which includes reckless indifference to human life.
It is one of the first charges brought under the State Government's new tough penalties for child-killers introduced last year.
Under the new laws, the vulnerability of the victim be considered during sentencing.
Emergency services first became aware of the tragedy after a call was made to Queensland Ambulance Service shortly after 9am on Monday. Police were alerted and arrived at the home soon after.
A statement released by Queensland Police Service said the home was immediately secured as a crime scene.
"A crime scene was immediately declared at the house as investigations commenced into the circumstances leading to the child's death," the statement said.
"The girl's family is assisting police with the investigation," it said.
Neighbours said there were other children at the house when emergency crews arrived. A large police presence, including up to 10 vehicles and a forensic van, alarmed parents of children at a nearby school.
Parents were sent an email from the school's principal reassuring them the incident was unrelated and to await instructions on how to collect their children, with the street cordoned off by police patrols throughout the day.
"Should you hear of this incident through the media, please be assured that there is no reason to be fearful of any threat to the school and your children are safe and are being kept totally unaware of the police presence outside the college," the message said.
Tradesman Trent O'Brien was working at a nearby home when he saw ambulances and police arrive at the Bent St address.
Mr O'Brien said about five people, including a child in a nappy, appeared to have come from inside the home when paramedics and police arrived.
"There was a lot of police, at least 10," he said.
A resident of a neighbouring home said a family rent the property and have been "relatively quiet" for the time they have lived there.
"I have never heard much from them. It's quite a quiet street … it's a bit of a shock."
Dunn was remanded in custody and unable to apply for bail because of the serious nature of the charge.
Originally published as Man charged with murder after girl, 4, found dead