Father and stepmum ‘left disabled toddler to starve to death’
A father and stepmother have been charged with murder after the death of a four-year-old child with Downs Syndrome in Australia last year.
Willow Dunn was found dead by police in her Brisbane home on May 25 in “extremely confronting” conditions, but is believed to have died two days before.
Her father, Mark James Dunn, and stepmother, Shannon Leigh White, each face one count of murder and another of child cruelty.
At Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, it was heard the four-year-old was found with deep pressure sores - thought to be caused by prolonged time without movement - and her body appeared to have been set upon by rats.
Forensics pathologist, Dr Andrew Kedziora, told the hearing that Ms Dunn’s sores were down “to the bone”.
He said: “The fact that these pressure sores are present and they are so deep shows that for quite a while the child did not move at all.”
Dr Kedziora also found evidence of pancreatitis, most likely caused by chronic dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and an extremely low height percentile.
Dunn and White will stand trial in the Supreme Court on a date yet to be decided.
They both remain in custody.