Police did not issue a press release when Creedence died and his death went unreported by media; there was none of the usual public outrage that comes when a child dies by violence.

Following questions from Stuff earlier this month, police confirmed they had launched a homicide investigation after Creedence’s death. […]

[Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Neilson] explains that, initially, the death was treated as “unexplained”. When the investigation escalated, the family was already co-operating and public assistance wasn’t required.

“Police acknowledge public notification of the death being treated as a homicide would have been appropriate.”

Tapara, 21, says police have indicated to her that a manslaughter charge will be laid, although she hasn’t heard from them in a month. […]

In a Facebook post in February, Bell-Toetoe [Creedence’s father] wrote: “I ain’t no murderer. I’ll show you, hahahahaha. Full stop, come at me. Yous wait, I don’t need nothing.” […]

[Tapara] was cradling Creedence in her arms at the time and they were in the
kitchen. She is “pretty sure” the baby’s head hit the fridge when she
was shoved.

She laughs nervously as she describes the event and minimises the push, almost suggesting it was her fault.

“It was an accident. My partner didn’t mean to like, yeah, do that really. I shouldn’t have been in the middle with him [Creedence].

“They don’t believe us at all, the police, they think one of us did it on purpose, but we didn’t, it’s an accident.” […]

In January, Tapara had her second baby, another boy. By that stage Oranga Tamariki was involved with her family, and insisted the baby go into the care of a close family friend.

“They were like, ‘We don’t believe he’ll be safe in [your] custody’.”


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A contribution from The BFD staff.