Cold case breakthrough over alleged murder of toddler

A man has been charged and a woman has been arrested in New Zealand over the alleged murder of a two-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

The 70-year-old man was taken into custody at a rural property at Porters Retreat in NSW, about 42km south of Oberon, around 9am yesterday.

Around the same time, a 59-year-old woman was arrested at a home in Palmerston North City in New Zealand, with extradition proceedings currently underway to bring her back to Australia.


Detectives were told that the child was allegedly fatally assaulted by a woman known to her, in or around July 1987, at a rural property at Porters Retreat.

The woman was then allegedly assisted by a man in disposing of the child’s remains.

The 70-year-old man was taken back  to Bathurst Police Station yesterday, where he was charged with accessory after the fact to murder and misconduct with regard to corpses.

He was refused bail to appear at Bathurst Local Court today.


Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, praised the efforts of investigators.

“Strike Force Bertrand detectives have conducted an extensive, thorough and protracted investigation into this alleged murder that occurred more than three decades ago,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“These allegations were only brought to the attention of NSW Police in October 2019, and it is due to the tenacity and dedication of our officers, that two individuals have now been arrested.

“The level of violence allegedly used upon this child is abhorrent and left a father without his daughter or knowledge of her death for 34 years.

“The NSW Police Force will always thoroughly investigate new information relating to historical crimes and have worked tirelessly to ensure justice is finally served for this little girl,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Investigations are continuing.