Search icon


15th May 2023

One-year-old and four-year-old found dead in house

Steve Hopkins

‘They were just little kiddies’

The bodies of a baby and child have been found at a home in New Zealand, in what police suspect is a double murder.

Officers in Northland made the discovery on Peter Snell Drive, Ruakaka, at 7:30am Monday, following reports of problems at the address.

The names of the children and their ages have not been released, though it is understood they are both under the age of five.

MailOnline reported that the children were aged one, and four.

Ruakākā is a small town in the north island, approximately 30km south of Whangārei, and has a population of close to 3000 people.

1News reported that police have launched a homicide investigation into the deaths.

Detective inspector Bridget Doell said investigation is still in the “early stages”, but confirmed police are speaking with a person “as part of our inquiries”.

She added that “there will be an increased police presence in the area, and we will provide further updates as our investigation progresses”.

Nobody else is being sought in connection with the deaths, Doell said.

Ella, who lived next door to the house where the children were found, told Radio New Zealand: “We’re devastated, they’re little kiddies, they were just little kiddies,” she said. “I don’t know what’s happened, but whatever’s happened is horrific.

“We’re not the flashest area but we’re a really cool community, we look out for each other and we love it here, it’s a really beautiful place to live and this is gonna devastate everyone – especially the kids.”

The Stuff website says the house was managed by Kainga Ora, New Zealand’s social housing provider.

Kāinga Ora’s regional director for Northland, Jeff Murray, said in a statement this morning: “Our thoughts are with the whānau and with the small Ruakākā community who will all feel the impacts of this tragedy.’ ‘We will be checking in with our customers in the area to see what support they may need. ‘Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to comment further.”

Whangarei Mayor Vince Cocurullo described the deaths as “tragic and shocking”.

Related links:

Prisoner who ‘died’ and was brought back to life argued his life sentence had technically finished

Over $1.9 million raised for former marine that put Jordan Neely in a chokehold before his death

Former US marine to be charged for subway chokehold that killed Jordan Neely