Two toddlers found dead inside a car in the backyard of a family home are believed to have climbed into the unused vehicle and were unable to get out.
Specialist detectives are heading to Central Queensland to probe the deaths of two little boys thought to have become trapped inside a disused car.
A crime scene remains in place at a property in Woorabinda, a remote Indigenous community 170km southwest of Rockhampton, following the boys’ deaths on Friday night.
Police have described the incident as a ‘tragic accident’ as it’s thought the two boys, aged two and three, may have climbed into the car and were unable to get out.
The car – which did not have a working electric system and inoperable windows – was located in the backyard of the Richardson Street property and out of view of the adults who were inside the home.
The toddlers, aged two and three, were found unconscious inside an unused car in the backyard of a Richardson property in Woorabinda, a remote Indigenous community 170km southwest of Rockhampton
The two-year-old boy was discovered unconscious and not breathing on the backseat of the car by family members and was rushed to the Woorabinda Hospital at 7.48pm.
Paramedics met the boy and a rescue helicopter was on standby but they were unable to resuscitate him and he was declared dead.
When Queensland Police officers attended the property and inspected the car at about 9.15pm, they found the three-year-old boy lying in the rear footwell.
‘He wasn’t seen by the residents when they located the first child,’ Central Region Crime Coordinator Darrin Shadlow said.
The three-year-old boy was rushed to hospital but also declared dead.
Mr Shadlow confirmed the boys were related but not siblings during a press conference on Saturday.
‘At this stage we’re still conducting investigations, they hadn’t travelled in that vehicle – it was in the rear yard of the residence,’ he said.
‘It appears that it’s a tragic accident where the children have, somehow, gotten into the vehicle and had been there for some time.’
The two-year-old boy was rushed to Woorabinda Hospital (pictured) and was met by paramedics who tried to resuscitate him but were unable to save his life
Mr Shadlow said their cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however early investigations suggested the boys died from heat-related stress as the temperature in Woorabinda on Friday reached 33.7C.
A crime scene was declared and detectives are investigating the circumstances of the deaths.
Family of the two toddlers shared tributes to them online.
‘I know I’ll miss seeing his face in Murgon … when you sneak around to nannies [sic] to play with the blocks in the sand and have some treats. You will be sadly missed tiny ones,’ one wrote.
Other locals in the community also expressed their condolences.
‘Heart aches for the whole community Woorabinda this is too sad waking up look straight on Facebook seeing all this,’ one person wrote.
‘Woorabinda thinking of community too much lost.
‘Have no words just sending out some love to my people in Woorabinda feeling heartbroken,’ another said.
Woorabinda is a small Indigenous community in Central Queensland located 170km southwest of Rockhampton
Detectives specialising in the sudden unexplained deaths of children – including officers from the Crime and Intelligence Command and the Child Trauma Unit – have flown from Brisbane to Rockhampton to assist in the investigation.
Woorabinda is a small Indigenous community in Central Queensland.
The town made headlines in September 2018 when abducted 12-year-old Layla Leisha was spotted there.
Little Layla had disappeared from Calliope, Queensland, in December 2014.
She was located on September 30 by Australian Federal Police at an undisclosed location.