Baby girl died while mum in custody in NT

Greg Roberts

The Northern Territory Children's Commissioner has asked police and government agencies for information about the the death of an Aboriginal baby girl last weekend while her mother was in custody.

NT Police revealed on Wednesday afternoon they were investigating the death of the four-month old in Katherine on Sunday morning.

However, they also said "the death is not being considered suspicious and police are waiting on results of an autopsy".

The force later confirmed the child's 21-year old mother had been taken into custody before the death was reported to police.

They did not say whether they knew the woman had a baby or another young child believed to be in the same house or did anything to ensure their wellbeing.

"This is a tragic event and the police are focused on completing a thorough investigation into all of the circumstances," a police statement said.

Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne said she was "aware of the tragic death of the baby in Katherine and received a briefing on Wednesday morning".

Ms Gwynne said she had "formally requested further information and is undertaking preliminary inquiries including a review of family history and interactions with services" before she decides whether to investigate fully.

The immediate police response was a matter for the Ombudsman, she added.

The Children's Commissioner is an independent office responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of vulnerable children, and has statutory powers to monitor and investigate the actions of government agencies, which in this case would be Territory Families.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.