The heartless parents of a little girl who terribly died after scalded in a hot bath have been charged with her torture and murder.
The two-year-old Maddilyn-Rose Ava Stokes, from Northgate in Brisbane’s north, suffered severe burns to her back, buttocks and legs for several days before she died.
Her parents, Shane David Stokes, 30, and Nicole Betty More, 23, have previously claimed the injuries were the result of scalding hot bath water.
According to the Courier Mail, the couple were arrested on Monday morning and later charged with murder and torture, 11 days after their daughter’s death.
They will face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Detective Inspector Tim Trezise said police would allege that Maddilyn-Rose had suffered ‘life-threatening burns to her back, buttocks, groin and legs’.
He said her parents did not seek help for several days and at the time they blamed her injuries on hot bath water.
‘The investigation has been particularly difficult and emotionally challenging due to the nature of the victim being a two-year-old girl suffering significant injuries,’ Mr Tresize said in a media conference on Monday.
‘Obviously any allegations of child cruelty get treated very seriously by police … and the perpetrators of that cruelty will be brought before the courts.’
Family members also expressed their heartache after the news broke on Monday.
‘I am very sad and will hold my kids tighter tonight,’ Shane’s brother Gwyn Stokes told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It never should have come to this.’
Emergency services were called to the housing commission complex in Northgate at 4.30pm on Thursday when the two-year-old went into cardiac arrest.
Paramedics worked on the girl for 30 minutes before rushing her to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, where she later died.
Paramedics alerted the police to the girl’s critical condition when they discovered her severe injuries.
The girl’s death sent shockwaves through the community.
Neighbour Rhonda Jones has lived in the complex for a decade and would enjoy hearing the sandy-haired little girl ‘chattering up the driveway’ most days.
‘She was just like any other child – she was always laughing and sounded happy,’ Mrs Jones told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The last time I saw her was on Wednesday she was going up to look in the letterbox.’
Mrs Jones said she was shocked when she realised the Ambulances were for the ‘quiet house down the back’.