A toy bear and flowers left at the scene where a 9 month old baby was found dead. (AAP image, John Gass)
A toy bear and flowers left at the scene where a 9 month old baby was found dead. (AAP image, John Gass)

Young mum charged after baby washed up on beach

THE young mother of a baby who washed up on a Gold Coast beach last month has been charged with failing to protect her child from danger. 

Her nine-month-old girl is believed to have died in NSW before washing ashore at Surfers Paradise.

Emergency services were called to Staghorn Avenue and the Esplanade after a nine-month-old girl was found unresponsive about 12.30am Queensland time on November 19.

Paramedics declared the child deceased at the scene.

Queensland and NSW police launched an investigation.

The girl’s 23-year-old mother had been a private schoolgirl and uni student in Victoria.
The girl’s 23-year-old mother had been a private schoolgirl and uni student in Victoria.

Investigators spoke with the child's parents - a 47-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman - with the man being arrested that day.

There is a national non-publication order relating to all identities in this case. 

While the father was charged with murder, the mother was initially treated as a witness and was receiving care for mental health problems.

The young mother was a private schoolgirl and a popular university student before she found herself homeless with two kids and a middle-aged boyfriend.

The baby's father allegedly believed the baby was possessed by demons.

Detectives from the Homicide Squad and Tweed/Byron Police District, with help from specialist detectives from Queensland, established Strike Force Palua to investigate the girl's death.

It will be alleged the baby girl was thrown into the Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads in NSW in what Queensland police believe was a "sacrifice".

Her empty pram was left alongside the waterway.

It's believed the family was tracked on CCTV travelling from the Gold Coast to the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, where the girl was allegedly thrown into the water, on the Saturday.

The girl's body is believed to have drifted 30km in the current for two days, crossing the state border before washing up at Surfers Paradise beach where she was found by passers-by early on the Monday.

Police believe the baby was washed 30km north while she was still alive. Picture: AAP/John Gass
Police believe the baby was washed 30km north while she was still alive. Picture: AAP/John Gass

On November 22, the 47-year-old father was charged with murder. He remains before the courts.

Detectives arrested the 23-year-old mother was arrested about 2pm on Thursday.

The woman appeared at Southport Magistrates Court, where Strike force Palua investigators applied for and were granted her extradition to NSW.

Police escorted her to Tweed Heads Police Station, where she was charged with failing to protect her child from danger of death.

The woman was refused bail and is due to appear at Byron Bay Local Court today.

Investigations under Strike Force Palua are continuing.

The baby's death caused an outpouring of grief from both sides of the border with people leaving toys, letters and flowers where the baby was found. 

Tributes have piled up for the baby. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Tributes have piled up for the baby. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Dozens of locals turned out for vigil for the baby girl last week. Picture: Adam Head
Dozens of locals turned out for vigil for the baby girl last week. Picture: Adam Head
News Corp Australia

Jack's memory to live on with rugby

Jack's memory to live on with rugby

Scoreboard set to remember Jack at Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club

BREAKING: Rescue at Tea Tree Bay

BREAKING: Rescue at Tea Tree Bay

Man transported to hospital in a serious condition after rescue