Minibus death: Police to look into roll call at daycare

 

ROLL call methods at a southern Cairns daycare centre are under scrutiny following the death of a three-year-old boy in a minibus.

The roll call documents and procedures, given to police by staff at the Edmonton Goodstart Early Learning Centre, will assist officers understand how the child's absence had not been flagged.

"In this case we have seized certain documents which would suggest they do have those procedures but the accuracy of those documents is being investigated," Detective Inspector Jason Smith said.

Detective Inspector Jason Smith is investigating the tragic death of a boy, 3, on a minibus at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Detective Inspector Jason Smith is investigating the tragic death of a boy, 3, on a minibus at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

The boy, who was relatively new to the centre, had not been reported missing on Tuesday despite being picked up from his Edmonton residence at 9.30am by the bus with the express purpose of taking him to the Edmonton Goodstart centre.

"It is my understanding he had attended the centre for a few weeks," Det Insp Smith said.

He was found dead in the van by the same driver at 3.15pm.

The vehicle had been parked at Hambledon State School on Stokes Street.

Officers will focus on the vehicle's movements that day.

"We will be trying to establish a timeline of where the bus was at this time," Det Insp Smith said.

Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. A police forensic officer inspects the van. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. A police forensic officer inspects the van. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Police will canvass CCTV footage from across Cairns to track the movements of the vehicle and determine whether the child was aboard.

"The bus does a number of runs and conveys children to different venues," Det Insp Smith said.

"We know that the driver had other appointments - where the child was we have yet to confirm."

Officers are yet to interview the driver, who was taken to Cairns Hospital suffering shock.

It is unclear whether he was an employee, contractor or volunteer at the daycare centre, or if he was the regular driver.

No arrests have been made over the incident.

"It is too soon to tell, we are keeping an open mind," Det Insp Smith said.

Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. Detectives leave the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Police officers attend Hambledon State School at Edmonton, where a 3 year old was found dead in a Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus at around 3:30pm on Tuesday. Detectives leave the scene. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Two Queensland Police indigenous family liaison officers have been assigned to the boy's grieving family - it has not been confirmed whether the child's siblings were also at the daycare centre on Tuesday.

The van has been impounded by police as a crime scene and is undergoing forensic testing.

"Nothing short of a thorough investigation will reveal the truth; we will do our best to get to the bottom of this." Det Insp Smith said.


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