A 3-week-old baby last night is in an induced coma in
hospital following an incident which left her with
life-threatening injuries at her Invercargill home yesterday.
Several neighbours reported hearing loud noises from the
property early yesterday, before emergency services were
called to the Princes St house at 5.30am.
The infant was rushed to Southland Hospital, and later flown
to Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland.
She remained in a critical condition in the hospital's
paediatric intensive care unit today, a hospital spokesman
Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Invercargill, confirmed the parents
were in the house at the time of the incident, and police
were not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.
Neighbours said the couple - a Caucasian man believed to be
in his 60s and an Asian woman in her 30s - had lived in the
large wooden villa for about four years.
The man was known to be a ''hoarder'', but the couple kept to
themselves and were very quiet. The baby girl was believed to
be the couple's only child.
A neighbour, who declined to be named, said she heard noises
coming from near the property around 2.30am, and at 4.30am
was woken by what sounded like a ''dog dragging a chain''.
The neighbour said the couple's Saint Bernard dog had been
barking for an hour before she left to go to the swimming
pool at 5.50am, and she saw four police cars outside the
Another neighbour, Vona Tokona (78), said her neighbours were
''a very nice couple'', although she did not see much of them
because the drapes were always drawn.
Late yesterday morning, police pitched a tent outside the
cordoned-off house and parked a large police truck next to
it, while a security guard stood across the street.
Insp Jensen said because an active criminal investigation was
under way it was not possible to provide details about the
nature of the child's injuries or how they were caused.
He would not comment if any weapons were recovered from the
property, as the scene examination was not complete.
That examination, with assistance from Environmental Science
and Research, was expected to take place over the next few
He told the Otago Daily Times that ''ascertaining the
exact timing of the incident will be part of our
The parents were not detained by police, and he could not
''comment on their intentions'' when asked whether they had
travelled to Auckland.
''Interviewing the parents will be part of the
The family were being supported by Victim Support and