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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police are investigating the unexplained death of an infant in Dargaville.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevan Verry, of the Northland Child Protection Team, says the sudden death of the 10-month-old girl, Kween Thompson, was reported to Police in July 2023, however it was not until the following days Police were notified of potential unexplained circumstances.

“It was in these following days Police were made aware of a non-accidental injury, which is now the focus of a child protection investigation.

“As part of that investigation we are looking into the circumstances of the death, which at this stage is being treated as unexplained.”

“It appears the non-accidental injury does not relate to the death.

Detective Senior Sergeant Verry says Police are engaging with medical experts to understand more about the injury, which may take some time and we are keeping an open mind as to what has occurred.

“However, we can confirm the cause of death has been determined to be asphyxia.

“Police, including Dargaville CIB and the District Child Protection Team, are making enquiries into this matter, and are gathering facts about events on the day of baby Kween’s death from a variety of sources.”

Police are unable to comment further at this point on the nature of the injuries while these enquiries continue.

The death of a child is a tragic and distressing incident for the family involved and Police are working to analyse the information to understand the circumstances.

Detective Senior Sergeant Verry says Police have spoken to a number of family members and have had varying degrees of co-operation.

“We will continue to approach and speak with witnesses and family members as the investigation progresses and are hoping that all persons involved will cooperate and provide any information they may have that helps us understand what has happened to the baby.”

Police are now seeking information from family members or witnesses who had any interactions with baby Kween in the two weeks prior to her tragic death.

Detective Senior Sergeant Verry says Police is aware of a number of different theories from the wider family as to what has occurred and we encourage anyone with information that may assist our enquiries to consider speaking with Police in confidence.

“Information can be provided in person at a local Police station or through our 105 reporting line. Please reference file number 230714/4866.

“Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”


Issued by the Police Media Centre