24 Dec 2008

Police move fast on Kerikeri infant death

9:57 pm on 24 December 2008

Police investigating the death of a Kerikeri infant say they now know exactly when the fatal injuries were inflicted.

A homicide investigation was launched after 16-month-old Riley Justin Osborne died in Starship Children's Hospital on Tuesday night.

He was flown there on Friday suffering from what police descibed as horrific injuries.

The case is now being treated as a homicide, with 17 officers working on the investigation. The police want to speak with anyone who had contact with the three other occupants of the boy's home at 31 Cobham Rd from last Friday.

The boy lived with his 22-year-old mother, 21-year-old stepfather and a family friend.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marty Ruth says police know who was in the house at the time the fatal injuries were inflicted and he's confident the crime will be solved within the next few days.

Kerikeri shocked by second death

The death has left Kerikeri shocked and saddened. It's the second homicide inquiry in the Far North town in two months.

The president of the Kerikeri Business Association, Raewyn Voice, says the community is still grieving over the death of teenager Liberty Templeman, whose body was found in a Kerikeri stream on 2 November. A 14-year-old youth has since been charged with her murder.

The region's deputy mayor, Sally Macauley, says the tragedy shows that young parents need more support.