Mum’s desperate plea to man before he ‘sacrificed their baby daughter’

Distressing footage emerges of a mum, 23, desperately pleading with her daughter’s father – before he was accused of ‘sacrificing’ their baby in a crime that’s shocked Australia

  • The parents of a baby girl found dead on the Gold Coast argued a week earlier
  • Video shows the infant’s mother, 23, and father, 48, in a violent confrontation
  • Argument occurred at same place police believe the girl’s body was dumped 
  • Nine-month-old’s body washed up at Surfers Paradise at 12.30am on Monday
  • New South Wales police are expected to charge the girl’s father with murder
  • It’s alleged the father ‘sacrificed’ his daughter and threw her body into water 

The terrified mother of a baby girl found dead on a Gold Coast beach was involved in a distressing confrontation with her partner a week before he allegedly murdered their child. 

Concerned residents in a Tweed Heads park filmed the violent altercation between the nine-month-old girl’s 23-year-old mother and her 48-year-old father.

In distressing footage obtained by Daily Mail Australia, the infant’s homeless parents can be seen arguing at Jack Evans Harbour where they often slept rough with their kids.

The footage shows the baby girl’s mother shaking as she asks her partner to return $940 she accuses him of taking from her.

The vision comes as the father, dressed in a white hospital gown, faced an extradition hearing in Queenland before Magistrate John Costanzo. 

 The court was told he was a violent schizophrenic who had previously tried to attack a Gold Coast City Council officer who was warning him not to camp in the sand dunes with his family.  

Police will allege that on Saturday at the same spot where the video was filmed, the baby girl’s father ‘sacrificed’ his daughter and threw her into the water – before her body drifted 30kms north to Surfers Paradise, before washing up on the beach two days later.

The terrified mother (pictured) of a baby girl found dead on a Gold Coast beach was involved in a distressing confrontation with her partner a week before he allegedly murdered their child

The father (left) of a baby girl (right) found dead on a Gold Coast beach is set to be charged in relation to her death once he is extradited from Queensland to New South Wales

Local woman Robin, who lived in a van parked nearby the couple and their young children were sleeping in, said she often saw arguments turn physical.

‘There was one night, they were standing over the barbecue and he was reaching across, grabbing her face,’ she said.


The baby’s 48-year-old homeless father appeared in Southport Court on Wednesday.

Wearing a white hospital gown, he did not address the court during an extradition hearing before Magistrate John Costanzo.

The hearing was briefly delayed because the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced a number of charges that had to be dealt with before the extradition could proceed.

The court was told he was a violent schizophrenic who had previously tried to attack a Gold Coast City Council officer who was warning him not to camp in the sand dunes with his family.

He had hurled abuse at the officer and threatened him with a bottle and a stick.

The court was told it was because he was trying to protect his family and that he had a history of alcoholism, drug addiction and violence.

He pleaded guilty to public nuisance and was sentenced to 12 months’ jail.

Sunil Dutt, of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, said on Wednesday his client had been in and out of foster care and endured a “very hard life”.

The man was eventually released into the custody of NSW detectives and will appear in a Tweed Heads court on Thursday.

It is understood the girl’s mother, a 23-year-old transient, has been released from police custody without charge and may be treated as a witness.

She is now under the care of Queensland mental health services. Her eldest child is also in state care.

Queensland detectives have been “deeply distressed” by the circumstance of the child’s death, the sources said.

Robin said the father-of-two would also hurt his young daughter, and claimed she had seen him ‘chuck that baby like it was a football’.

She alleges the father had been putting cigarettes out on his partner’s body and often grabbed at her aggressively.

She said she had given the family a plastic mat and some blankets and that was all they had to camp on.   

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Robin said in the time she camped with the family, she had begun to develop a relationship with the baby’s mother, who had slowly started to open up to her.

The couple met while the baby’s mother was at university.

‘(The father) bragged he got her pregnant the first time they had sex,’ she said.     

On Wednesday, the father’s relatives visited to the site where he allegedly killed the baby. 

His aunt Paulette said she saw the young family just recently and said her nephew was proud to show off his daughter and three-year-old son.

She revealed she offered to take in the children to help out her homeless nephew and his partner – who she said appeared to be struggling – but they refused.

Two local women who regularly saw the family in the area and were left shocked by the death of the baby girl embrace on Wednesday

Several local women told Daily Mail Australia they offered to take in the children to help out the homeless parents – who they said appeared to be struggling – but the couple refused

The family used a rundown black van (pictured) to travel along the coast from Tweed Heads to the Gold Coast when they were moved on

Police believe the girl’s body was dumped at Jack Evans Harbour in Tweed Heads, NSW, before it travelled 30 kilometres north to Surfers Paradise, Queensland, and was found two days later

‘I cried all night. I told her I’d take the kids and she wouldn’t let me,’ Paulette said of the moment she found out about her niece’s death. 

Police will allege the nine-month-old was dumped at Jack Evans Harbour, on the New South Wales and Queensland border, before her lifeless body floated north to where she was found on a Gold Coast beach on Monday morning.

Sources close to the investigation say the girl, her parents and two-year-old brother were tracked on CCTV travelling from the Gold Coast to the harbour on Saturday.

It’s alleged the naked baby girl was thrown into the harbour and her empty pram left alongside the waterway.

Over the next two days her body floated along the coast before being discovered at 12.30am on Monday at Surfers Paradise – 30 kilometres from where she was ditched. 

The infant’s father was set to face Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday so his extradition to NSW could be approved.

But the extradition hearing was delayed because he faces other charges which must be dealt with before the extradition can proceed.

He appeared in court wearing a white hospital gown and was represented by Sunil Dutt of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service.

Once he is extradited NSW police are set to charge him with his daughter’s murder.

The little girl was found dead in the water (pictured) by a passerby in the early hours of Monday morning Paramedics desperately tried to revive her but she was pronounced dead at the scene

When not living in the van, toilet blocks or under bridges, the young family could be found in a humpy made from sticks and wood (pictured)

Nappies and an empty bucket of KFC (pictured) lie on the ground just metres from the shelter made from sticks and twigs

A friend of the family, Kristy, said the father once handed the baby off to her, but she was unable to take care of her and had to return her to her mother.

The girl’s mother was released from custody on Tuesday after being questioned and it’s understood she has now been placed in the mental health system in Queensland.

Police sources allege the mother admitted to knowing about the planned ‘sacrifice’ – as it has been described – of her daughter, but only the father will be accused of any crimes.

CCTV cameras reportedly captured the girl’s family hopping on a bus at Coolangatta and travelling to Tweed Heads, before later returning without their daughter. 

Prior to her death, the girl’s family was living between the van and a shack made out of twigs and sticks, located in the sand dunes of a Surfers Paradise beach.

At the same time the girl’s father was due to face court on Wednesday, an Aboriginal elder performed a cleansing ceremony on the shore where the baby was dumped.

The owner of a local water sports company who regularly saw the family in the area choked back tears as the ceremony was performed by Aboriginal elder Uncle Russ.

Trevor ‘Big Trev’ Arbon, a local icon who has run the water sports business for several decades, said the large age gap between the girl’s parents made them hard to miss.

Uncle Russ (left) plays a didgeridoo in front of Trevor Arbon (right) as part of a ceremony near Jack Evans Harbour at Tweed Heads on Wednesday morning

Mr Arbon (pictured) choked back tears as he told how he had regularly seen the family living rough in the area around Jack Evans Harbour

Touching tributes were left at the scene on Tuesday, little more than 24 hours after the tragedy unfolded

Strangers built a makeshift shrine with balloons and children’s toys near where the infant was found on Monday

‘I first saw them just two weeks ago, they had a shopping trolley and a stroller,’ Mr Arbon said of the family.

‘Last time I saw them they were just sitting on the hill, just cruising, mucking around and laying down. Their mum was just sitting their with them.

‘The stroller was still here a few days ago… everyone’s very sad about the children.

‘It’s such a beautiful place here at the harbour, it is for little kids, it’s the best watering hole.

‘We have a lot of transients, but I don’t have a lot to do with them. I’ve been attacked before, had my windscreen smashed.’ 

Local residents have told how they reported the young family’s shocking living conditions to authorities, yet nothing seemed to be done about it.

Reverend Jon Brooks, head of a local housing crisis centre, told Daily Mail Australia the family lived ‘as rough as it gets’.

‘Anybody who does it homeless does it poorly, but if it is the family I believe it might be, they were in the worst position you could find yourself in,’ Rev Brooks said.

‘I wasn’t aware they’d been living in a humpy – the last I knew they were moving from toilet blocks, to parks, to even under bridges.’

The tragic reality of the infant’s life has been revealed – a far cry from the glitz and glamour that is normally associated with Surfers Paradise (pictured)

Police have established a crime scene along the section of Surfers Paradise beach (pictured) where the little girl was found dead 

‘They moved up here from down south and we gave them assistance with a different organisation that houses homeless people up here. We also provided them meals at lunch time.’ 

Another woman wrote on Facebook that she told police of the family’s hut, fearing the young children were being exposed to the elements at night.

‘It was winter and the dunes were freezing every time the sun went down. I didn’t think that was good for a baby or toddler,’ she wrote.

‘I reported it straight away and monitored the following week. And if authorities did the job correctly this little girl would still be here!’

The girl’s father is expected to be charged in coming days once the current process before the courts is completed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Policelink on 131 444. 

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