News

Mum thought he was at childcare but he was in her car, dead

News Corp Australia

ONE child sick with gastroenteritis, another teething  - restless all night in his mother's bed, a recent dog attack on a family pet and the back to school routine changed.

It was all these things in combination that led to a regional Victorian mother having 'forgotten baby syndrome' and the tragicdeath of her 22-month-old son, a court has heard.

Noah Zunde was found dead in a car outside a Kyneton childcare centre in February 2015. He was just 22-months-old, a much loved son and little brother, a "gorgeous little boy."

At the time Noah's father paid tribute to his son on Twitter writing, "We lost our beautiful son today."

"Hug your children. Hug them and never let them go."

"I love him more every day. Forever." he said, referring to his baby boy.

"I'll always know I cherished every day. Every laugh, every adventure, every cuddle. Miss you noey X."

His family had moved to the small town of Kyneton, north west of Melbourne hoping for a better life for their two kids.

Noah's big sister had recently started school and the family was adjusting to a change of routine.

The Victorian Coroners Court has heard that on the morning of February19th 2015 Ms Zunde believed she had dropped Noah at childcare, it wasn't until the afternoon when she returned to collect him she realised the devastating truth - he had been in the back seat the entire time.

The court heard evidence from a medical expert that in the weeks leading up to Noah's death Ms Zunde hadn't been able to sleep well as she had been sick, with suspected gastroenteritis, her daughter too had been ill, The Bendigo Advertiser reports.

On the night before he was left in the car little Noah had slept in his mother's bed, restless due to teething, Ms Zunde's partner, Andrew Krespanis told police she had virtually had no sleep at all.

Expert neuroscientist, associate professor Matthew Mundy said in the report that "Ms Zunde had suffered several days of acute sleep deprivation."

On the morning on February 19th Ms Zunde's routine was changed when she had to drop a misplaced travel card to Mr Krespanis at Kyneton train station.

Mr Krespanis said Ms Zunde was "considerably distressed" by the change of routine and the possibility that their daughter might be late to her primary school.

The report said that Ms Zunde then went straight to Tylden Primary School and dropped off her daughter, rather than taking her son to child care.

She then went home to do chores for the day.

Ms Zunde said the childcare centre is "very close to ours, a left turn directly opposite the right turn to our house. I can only assume I automatically made a right turn instead of left".

She told police that "Noah must have fallen asleep on the way which is something he hardly ever did."

Ms Zunde said she had been on "auto pilot", according to The Bendigo Advertiser.

Noah was found in the car outside his childcare. Source: Nine
Noah was found in the car outside his childcare. Source: Nine

There Noah stayed all day, while temperatures reached 31 degrees, only discovered when Ms Zunde went back to pick him up from childcare, to be told he'd never been dropped off.

In Mr Mundy's report he said that in the car Ms Zunde could not see Noah's baby seat, so she had no visual reminder her son was in the car.

"Without a visual cue to the presence of Noah, it is less likely that Romy Zunde would have been reminded of his presence after a failure in short-term memory of driving home instead of to Bambini daycare,"

"This seems important, since he would normally be making some kind of noise during the journey. Again, these observations would also suggest a lack of external 'cues' to prompt the maintenance of Romy's short-term memory".

​He said that "Ms Zunde had suffered several days of acute sleep deprivation. She was overwhelmed with confusion and thought about several alternatives where she could have left Noah."

The family had recently added a new day to Noah's childcare, and had been under stress after dogs attacked their pet pigs.

Professor Mundy said that Ms Zunde's habitual memory took over and led to an error.

"In my opinion, it is possible that due to the recently changed routine for the destination of a Thursday drive [which would otherwise have been to the family home], and the competing and confusing information from the other items held in long term memory [arrangements for Fridays, arrangements for previous weeks etc], there was a potential for error introduced into the day's travel."

Together all these changes, and the exhaustion Ms Zunde suffered led to "forgotten baby syndrome".

The inquest continues.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been reproduced here with permission.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  death editors picks inquest parenting toddler



Education a worthy spend: Hogan

Female high school student studying

Gonksi 2.0 model still benefits Valley according to Kevin Hogan

Polocrosse hits fever pitch at Hawthorne Park

ALL SYSTEMS GO: This weekend Grafton Polocrosse Club hosts its first annual carnival at Hawthorne Park since the club re-formed.

New lease of life in the Clarence Valley for equestrian team sport

Cosmic clashes set for local derby battle

STRUGGLING: It is always a tight tussle when the Yamba Buccaneers meet the Iluka Cossacks in the Clash of the Heads local derby.

Buccs look to reverse losing trend in Clash of the Head local derby.

Local Partners

National Sorry Day: Reflecting on testing times

CRANES acknowledged National Sorry Day at the Saraton Theatre on Friday with a film and talk by Paul Dutton, who was taken away from his family as a child


Polocrosse hits fever pitch at Hawthorne Park

ALL SYSTEMS GO: This weekend Grafton Polocrosse Club hosts its first annual carnival at Hawthorne Park since the club re-formed.

New lease of life in the Clarence Valley for equestrian team sport

Support for Kara's treadmill marathon explodes

Former Grafton and now NSW cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling to cricket legend Sir Viv Richards. Photo: MARK NEWSHAM

Support for treadmill marathon thrills organiser Kara Sutherland.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

JUST WHEN you thought you’d all of Bella Hadid’s supermodel figure — she gets her Cannes out on the red carpet of an AIDS gala dinner in France.

Working dogs put on a show at Ulmarra

The skills of man's best friend will be put to the test with the Ulmarra Dog Trials on June 24-25.

Man's best friend will be put the test at the Ulmarra Dog Trials.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

NETFLIX FIRST: Townsend boy's leading role

SHOOTING STAR: Former Townsend resident Leigh McGrath, right, on the set of the soon to be released movie Australia Day.

Leigh McGrath is helping shake up entertainment industry.

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!