The aunt of a little girl found dead in a Queensland dam has spoken about the last time the toddler was seen alive.
Penny Lindsay said her family is devastated by the loss of Elenore Lindsay after the three-year-old wandered away from her home on a rural property at Cootharaba, near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
The little girl vanished on Monday afternoon and police divers found her body about midnight in a dam about 150 metres away from the house.
Ms Lindsay told The Courier-Mail Elenore’s mum Rowena last saw her watching TV before she disappeared.
“It happened so fast, it was all in a matter of minutes,” Ms Lindsay said.
She added the little girl disappeared when her mum went to the bathroom.
Ms Lindsay said Elenore was a happy child whose arrival thrilled her mother Rowena after she suffered a series of miscarriages.
The family mounted an hour-long search of the property before calling police.
Divers found her tiny body in the water after an eight-hour search that saw scores of locals turn up with torches, desperate to help find her.
In a Facebook post, Ms Lindsay offered thanks to all those who helped, and encouraged them to leave tributes for the little girl.
"Thank you to everyone who (came to) help there are about 300 of you who we cannot thank enough," she wrote.
"We appreciate everything that you all did and the support that came along thank you to everyone it's sad news.
"We searched so hard hoping she was curled up asleep and unfortunately she was so close all along. Rip Elenore you will be missed you didn't deserve this."
She said a lot of people had asked if they could visit the property and leave flowers and teddy bears in honour of Elenore.
She encouraged people to do that, saying it would provide some comfort to Elenore's mother.
A fundraising campaign has been launched to help cover the funeral costs.
Police Superintendent Daryl Johnson also praised people who turned up wanting to help.
"One of the great things about our community on the Sunshine Coast is that in times of need people come out and help. So that was fantastic to see in really tragic circumstances," he told the ABC.
"Police have been in constant contact with the family and we will make certain they get the support that they need at this time.”
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
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