Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

Birkdale baby homicide: Flowers and teddies outside house after 10-month-old dies

Floral tributes and soft toys have been placed outside a North Shore house where a homicide investigation was launched following the death of a baby boy.

Police carried out a scene examination on Vandeleur Ave in Birkdale last week after the 10-month-old died in Starship Hospital.

Police believe Chance Kamanaka O Ke Akura Aipolani-Nielson died from “non-accidental” injuries, and investigations are ongoing into the circumstances.

Aipolani-Nielson was taken to hospital on Wednesday evening and he died two days later on Friday.

Vandeleur Ave residents said the death has been shocking and sad for the friendly community. One told the Herald that a young family lived at the property, but kept to themselves.

She said children on the street often play together, and there haven’t been issues previously.

Residents of the home searched by police were seen packing a car yesterday and appeared to be moving out of the property.

Teddies, flowers and hand-written notes have been placed in a row against a fence at the front of the property.

One note read: “Fly high precious one xxx”.

Police have been speaking with neighbours following the baby’s death and maintaining a presence in the area.

A post mortem was carried out on Saturday.

“As such, the investigation has now been upgraded to a homicide inquiry,” said Detective Inspector Aaron Proctor.

“Anyone with information that may assist police with our inquiries is asked to get in touch on 105 and reference Operation Angora.”

Aipolani-Nielson is the third child to be at the centre of a homicide inquiry in as many months.

Two-year-old Arapera Fia died in Starship Hospital hours after being found with critical injuries at a Weymouth property on October 31.

A man has been charged with murder and a woman charged with manslaughter. They both have interim name suppression.

5-year-old Malachi Subecz was found with injuries at a Te Puna property on November 1 and treated in Tauranga Hospital.

He was flown to Starship Hospital in Auckland, where he died on November 12.

Michaela Barriball, 27, and Sharron Barriball, 37, have appeared in court in relation to his death.

Michaela Barriball faces a charge of willfully ill-treating a child while Sharron Barriball is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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