Police have revealed new details about the death of a six-year-old South Australian girl who died after allegedly being neglected.
The girl was taken to the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide by paramedics on Friday morning after being found unresponsive at her Munno Para home.
She died soon after arrival.
SA Police Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams revealed during a press conference on Tuesday that her death has now been declared a major crime.
“The death is being investigated as a case of criminal neglect causing death,” she said, adding that a conviction carries a maximum term of life in prison.
Whether the child was malnourished will be investigated and whether she consumed excessive amounts of "junk food" will also be examined, The Advertiser reports.
The deputy commissioner revealed that a task force has been created to investigate criminal neglect charges relating to five other children who live at the home.
The siblings are aged between 7 and 29 and have since been removed from the property.
Deputy Commissioner Williams said there are “various stages of concern” for the health of the remaining children and described the conditions of their home as “poor”.
Regarding the six-year-old, initial post-mortem results also indicate concerns “about the state of [her] health and wellbeing at the time of her death to such a point that we feel it's appropriate to investigate this matter at its highest level as early as possible”.
House of Horrors comparison 'understandable'
Police declined to comment further on details of the six-year-old's condition or if she was attending school at the time.
“This is extremely serious,” the deputy commissioner said, adding that “a range of government services” had previously “interacted with the family in various ways”.
“The death of any person is tragic but the death of a young child, a six-year-old girl, obviously causes concern for everybody to want to know how this occurred and understand the circumstances.
“I would say we take this very seriously and it's obviously of grave concern.”
She said she understood why the public had drawn comparisons between the young girl’s death and the Parafield Gardens “House of Horrors” case in 2008 for which three adults were jailed over the abuse of multiple kids.
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