Dead boy's caregivers on P charges

The caregivers of a 3-year-old toddler who died of ‘‘unexplained head injuries'' are to appear in the Manukau District Court today on P-related drug charges.

Dylan Hohepa Tonga Rimoni died in Auckland's Starship Hospital on Friday.

Police have stopped short of saying they are handling a homicide inquiry, saying the matter is being treated as a suspicious death. Officers are saying nothing about the investigation or whether further charges will be laid. But the officer in charge of the Counties Manukau child abuse team,

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Pizzini, last night said a man and a woman in their late 30s were arrested on Saturday night after several days of scene examinations at the family's home in Great South Rd, Drury.

Det Snr Sgt Pizzini said the pair arrested were occupants of the home and Dylan's caregivers, but were not related to the toddler.

The woman had been released on police bail, but the man was being held in custody until they appeared in court today, he said. Each faces a charge of possessing precursor materials and equipment for manufacture of methamphetamine. They are also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Det Snr Sgt Pizzini would not say if the family had any gang links.

‘‘I don't want to go into that. We're continuing inquiries. It's a difficult investigation. It's very delicate . . . We're just working on the people that have had care of the boy and trying to establish what's happened.''

Asked if police found other items such as the drug P or related paraphernalia at the property, he said: ‘‘We've been searching the place for three days and we've obviously found quite a bit of stuff but I'm not going to go into it. There's charges now before the court and it will come out through the court process.''

A postmortem was carried out on Dylan's body on Friday but Det Snr Sgt Pizzini would not be drawn on its findings.

‘‘We're not releasing any details about the postmortem examination because of the delicate nature of the investigation.''

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