Police divers at Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads search for clues to the baby death. Picture: Greg Stolz
Police divers at Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads search for clues to the baby death. Picture: Greg Stolz

Infant may have died 30km away

A HOMELESS baby girl found dead on a Gold Coast beach may have died on the banks of the Tweed River, with police divers today scouring a popular boat harbour for clues to the tragedy.

The body of the nine-month-old was found on Surfers Paradise beach around 12.30am on Monday and police initially believed she may have drowned there.

But they are now investigating if she died at Jack Evans Boat Harbour, a popular recreational spot at Tweed Heads, where she had been living 'rough' with her 48-year-old father, 23-year-old mother and two-year-old sibling who is now in state care.

The couple are currently being held in the Southport Watch-house after being arrested at Broadbeach on Monday morning.

Police divers have been at the harbour all afternoon as police try to determine how the baby came to end up at Surfers Paradise, 30km north of the Tweed.

Big Trev’s Watersports owner Trevor Arbon. Picture: Greg Stolz
Big Trev’s Watersports owner Trevor Arbon. Picture: Greg Stolz

Trevor Arbon, who runs Big Trev's Watersports at the boat harbour, said police attended the park late on Monday accompanied by the mother. The couple had left a stroller at the scene.

He said the family, who were travelling in a battered black Toyota HiAce van, had spent several weeks living on and off at the park.

"It was really sad to see the little kids just getting around in disposable nappies," he said.

Mr Arbon said the father "walked around with a stick with some feathers hanging off it and was banging it on the bins, walking around".

"A lot of the other homeless Kooris (indigenous people) here didn't want anything to do with him. The locals were a bit off him. The mother seemed to really care for the kids.

"The last I saw them was two days ago when she had the kids on a blanket here (in the park overlooking the boat harbour).

"It's so sad for those two babies. They could have been adopted. They were beautiful little babies."

Robyn Greenside, who lives in her Kombi van and visits Jack Evans Boat Harbour regularly, said she gave the couple some money she received for her birthday on October 30 to buy nappies and food.

Robyn Greenside tried to help the parents of the dead baby. Picture: Greg Stolz
Robyn Greenside tried to help the parents of the dead baby. Picture: Greg Stolz

"I knew I couldn't have them all in the van with me at night but the least I could do was look after them in the day," she said.

"Then I just pulled right back because I was scared of him. He didn't like strong people around her (his partner) so he felt quite threatened.

"She's from a very good family in Geelong (in Victoria). She's university-educated and met him up here at Surfers. I think they've been together for about three or four years.

"They arrived in the park in about September and that's when I worked out they were homeless."

Ms Greenside said the family were thrown out of a toilet block by a security guard during recent heavy rain.

"I'm so glad that I tried to help them - (the) Child Safety (department) clearly didn't," she said.

"When I walked away from the baby, she cried. It's heartbreaking."

 

Police divers at Jack Evans Boat Harbour. Picture: Greg Stolz
Police divers at Jack Evans Boat Harbour. Picture: Greg Stolz


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