Attributable to Detective Inspector Nick Pritchard of Wellington Police:
We can now advise that the investigation into the death of a child in Lower Hutt on Sunday has been upgraded to a homicide enquiry.
Police can confirm the baby’s name was Ruthless-Empire Ahipene-Wall.
He would have turned two years old yesterday, and whānau had been preparing to celebrate his birthday.
He was an innocent child, who should have been safe, and loved, and should not have died as he did.
Post-mortem results confirmed Baby Ru’s cause of death was from blunt force trauma.
We believe that these injuries were not accidental.
We are aware of reports that Ru had ingested wet wipes before his death.
However, the post-mortem confirmed this did not contribute to his death – it was the injuries he sustained that did.
So far, we have completed a scene examination at an address in Taita, and also spoken with those understood to have been present when we believe these injuries were sustained.
Three adults known to Ru are considered persons of interest in this matter.
Staff are actively working to engage with them, as well as other whānau members.
This is a heartbreaking situation, and we have an extensive investigation team committed to getting answers about what happened to Ru.
We are determined to seek justice for Baby Ru, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Police are supporting the wider whānau, and victim support has been engaged with the family since the death.
This level of violence towards a child is difficult to fathom, and we will work hard to ensure a thorough investigation is carried out to determine exactly what happened.
We urge those who have information about what happened to Baby Ru to look deep, and do the right thing, and tell us what you know.
Issued by Police Media Centre