Willow Dunn was allegedly taken to a hospital two years before her death. She was on Monday found dead in a Cannon Hill home and her father Mark James Dunn was charged with murder. Picture: Facebook.
Willow Dunn was allegedly taken to a hospital two years before her death. She was on Monday found dead in a Cannon Hill home and her father Mark James Dunn was charged with murder. Picture: Facebook.

Willow taken to hospital years before death

A FOUR-year-old girl allegedly left to die in her filthy cot, covered in painful sores, was allegedly taken to hospital by a concerned relative years earlier and was known to child safety.

The Courier-Mail has been told the Department of Child Safety was actively involved with Willow Dunn and last had contact with the family within a month of her death but it is unclear whether case workers actually sighted the child.

State Child Safety Minister Di Farmer has repeatedly refused to confirm what contact Willow had with the Department, other than to provide a statement from a spokesman, which said Queensland's child protection laws made it "illegal to disclose publicly whether an individual or family is known or not known to the department".

Willow Dunn died in her cot at Cannon Hill. There was evidence she was severely malnourished. Picture: Facebook.
Willow Dunn died in her cot at Cannon Hill. There was evidence she was severely malnourished. Picture: Facebook.

Mark James Dunn, 43, was on Monday charged with his daughter Willow's murder after he allegedly told officers he found the little girl dead in her room in Cannon Hill on Saturday, but did not call an ambulance until two days later.

Sources said the child had not been seen for about two weeks before being discovered at the Bent St home on Monday.

The Courier-Mail understands a relative allegedly sought medical treatment for Willow in 2018 after visiting the family at the property.

The relative claimed the girl looked unwell and allegedly took her to a hospital, it is understood.

Willow’s father Mark James Dunn has been charged with the four-year-old’s murder. Picture: Facebook.
Willow’s father Mark James Dunn has been charged with the four-year-old’s murder. Picture: Facebook.

Police are still investigating whether Willow lived much of her life in neglect and whether she was left in her room without adequate food or care.

Her stepmother, who lived at the home with her own children, has not been charged in relation to Willow's death.

She allegedly refused to care for the child.

Members of the public with flowers outside the home where the body of Willow Dunn was found. Picture: Tertius Pickard.
Members of the public with flowers outside the home where the body of Willow Dunn was found. Picture: Tertius Pickard.

Police allege at the time of her death, Willow was still wearing nappies that were rarely changed, despite her age.

They will allege she had been left in her cot so long she developed painful pressure sores so deep the bones her hips were exposed.

It is alleged the girl was severely underweight when she died.

Another child living at the property also allegedly showed signs of being malnourished, sources said.

The Courier-Mail believes the Department of Child Safety had been notified of concerns about Willow's welfare on more than one occasion - although State Child Safety Minister Di Farmer has refused to confirm she was known to them.

The Bent St property where little Willow was found dead on Monday. Picture: Tertius Pickard.
The Bent St property where little Willow was found dead on Monday. Picture: Tertius Pickard.

Opposition child safety spokesman Stephen Bennett yesterday called on Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk to "come clean" about what was known to Child Safety prior to Willow's death.

"It's clear the system failed Willow and the minister needs to be held accountable for that," he said, calling the lack of transparency a "child safety cover up".

"Sadly like we saw with Mason Jet Lee, it may take a coronial investigation for the truth to come out about Willow's death."

Dunn has been remanded in custody over his daughter's alleged murder and will return to court on July 20.

 

Originally published as Willow taken to hospital years before death



LDMG confirm zero cases of COVID in South Burnett

Premium Content LDMG confirm zero cases of COVID in South Burnett

Two people in the South Burnett have been charged

Winners crowned in Gympie’s $13k national art awards

Premium Content Winners crowned in Gympie’s $13k national art awards

Eight winners were chosen from more than 100 entries in the Gympie Regional...

UPDATE: Vegetation fire northeast of Gympie under control

Premium Content UPDATE: Vegetation fire northeast of Gympie under control

The blaze is one of two fires burning in the region this afternoon.