TWO rewards of $1 million each have been offered in the hopes to catch the people responsible for the horrific deaths of two babies in South Australia.
SA Police announced the rewards for the unrelated deaths of 18-month-old Lily Jean Schettini at Smithfield Plains in 2010 and 11-month-old Dylan Robert James Lindsay at Port Lincoln in 2004.
Both cases are currently being reviewed by investigators from the Major Crime Investigation Branch as part of Operation Persist.
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Police said young Dylan was found dead at a property in Ellen Street, Port Lincoln on Sunday 28 March 2004 with visible abdominal injuries after a serious assault.
Someone attempted to disguise his injuries by using a texta to cover the bruising and marks.
Detective Brevet Sergeant Mathew Bengel said they have identified the texta used, but have been unable to determine who drew on the child.
“This is a heinous crime and somebody should be held responsible for taking the life of this child in a severe assault,” Sergeant Bengel said.
“We certainly believe we have identified the texta used, but we’re unable to determine who drew on him.
“It certainly appeared that it was designed to hide the bruising on the lower and upper abdomen.”
Dylan and his older sister were left in the care of friends at the home by their mother.
Two people were arrested in May 2004 in connection with Dylan’s death, but the case was later dropped due to insufficient evidence.
In the second case, police say Lily Schettini died as a result of blunt head trauma which is consistent with her having been shaken, assaulted or having fallen.
The 18-month-old was found unresponsive in a bedroom at a Smithfield Plains home in 2010.
Investigators believe she died as a result of an injury inflicted by one of four adults who spent the night at the home.
“Lily lived at the home with her sister, her mother and her mother’s defacto partner, but that night there were also two visitors, a man and a woman, at the address,” Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McEachern, from Major Crime, said.
“We believe she was assaulted by one of those people, but we have insufficient evidence to charge anyone at this time.”
Detectives are hoping the new, $1 million rewards will help catch the baby killers.
“We know that a range of factors can influence someone’s decision to speak out about an unsolved crime and the passage of time does not diminish the grief of families connected with these cases,”Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.
“We have had success with this operation which is revisiting some of the state’s toughest cold cases and we hope that the offer of these rewards may be another reason for someone to examine their conscience and consider coming forward with vital information.”