Police at the scene of the 11-year-old girl's death, which they are not treating as suspicious. Picture: Patrick Billings
Police at the scene of the 11-year-old girl's death, which they are not treating as suspicious. Picture: Patrick Billings

'It just rips at your heart': Community mourns fatal tragedy

UPDATE: THE 11-year-old child found dead at her home at Mt Cotton southeast of Brisbane has been described as an "honest-to-goodness beautiful little girl".

According to close family friends, Sophie Smith and her mother Nicole, who went by the name Nixta, were inseparable.

"Sophie is just a beautiful absolutely innocent heartfelt girl," she told The Courier-Mail.

"Nixta is such a beautiful mum, I can't imagine her without her daughter.

"Her whole world was Sophie, her life is her daughter she is a charitable, lovely lady.

"It's very upsetting, we can't believe it, it's shocking."

A steady stream of flowers and cards have been dropped off at the home.

One read: "Sophie darling, our beautiful unicorn girl forever in our hearts. Our love and grief is overflowing."

Sophie's mother, who is in her 40s, is in hospital with unspecified injuries.

Sophie Smith and her mother Nicole.
Sophie Smith and her mother Nicole.

Authorities were called to the home at Mount Cotton about 6pm yesterday and found the girl's body.

Cleveland Detective Inspector Owen Elloy said the girl's death was tragic but was not being treated as suspicious or as an accident, but forensic officers continue to investigate at the scene.

"Obviously it's a very sad event and it's not something at this point in time we believe is suspicious," he said.

"We're now preparing a brief of evidence for the coroner."

The Courier-Mail has been told the girl died of natural causes and her mother had self-inflicted injuries.

The woman's husband is understood to have been away at the time of the incident.

A neighbour is understood to have found the woman and the child.

Steve Parr, a local in the area, arrived at the scene to pay his respects even though he didn't know the family.

"It's just an absolute tragedy. This is such a lovely quiet area lots of families lots of kids. This doesn't happen in Mt Cotton," he said.

"There's nothing worse than a child's death ... it just rips at your heart."

Mt Cotton is a semi-rural community in the Redland City Council area, southeast of Brisbane.

An autopsy will be carried out today and police will prepare a report for the coroner.

 

EARLIER: AN 11-year-old girl has been found dead at a home south of Brisbane.

A woman in her 40s, who was known to the girl, is in hospital with unspecified injuries.

Authorities were called to the home at Mount Cotton about 6pm on Thursday and found the girl's body.

Cleveland Detective Inspector Owen Elloy said the girl's death was tragic but was not being treated as suspicious or as an accident, but forensic officers continue to investigate at the scene.

"Obviously it's a very sad event and it's not something at this point in time we believe is suspicious," he said.

"We're now preparing a brief of evidence for the coroner."

Forensic investigators remain at the scene. Picture: Patrick Billings
Forensic investigators remain at the scene. Picture: Patrick Billings

The woman is being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Police could not say if the woman was the girl's mother.

The Courier-Mail has been told the girl died of natural causes and the woman had self-inflicted injuries.

The woman's husband is understood to have been away at the time of the incident.

A neighbour is understood to have found the woman and the child.

Steve Parr, a local in the area, arrived at the scene to pay his respects even though he didn't know the family.

"It's just an absolute tragedy. This is such a lovely quiet area lots of families lots of kids. This doesn't happen in Mt Cotton," he said.

"There's nothing worse than a child's death ... it just rips at your heart."

Mount Cotton is a semi-rural community in the Redland City Council area, south of Brisbane.

An autopsy will be carried out today and police will prepare a report for the Coroner.



Daily Catch-up: November 25, 2020

Premium Content Daily Catch-up: November 25, 2020

Today's local weather, funeral, and other notices in one place

Major changes to NSW COVID rules

Premium Content Major changes to NSW COVID rules

Coronavirus NSW: Density rules ease for small restaurants, cafes

RIDE TO WORK: Council’s pedal power rises to the top

Premium Content RIDE TO WORK: Council’s pedal power rises to the top

Clarence Valley Council staff show they’re serious about healthy, sustainable...