Baby boy murder: How could ultimate betrayal happen?
DOWN a remote road, weaving through the secluded Sunshine Coast hinterland, a red sedan sat facing a camp site across the road.
To any passer-by, it wouldn't raise an alarm. But inside was a horror scene.
The young life of a baby boy was taken away by the person who was meant to protect him from all harm - his father.
The six-month-old Redcliffe boy was murdered by his 46-year-old father, who then took his own life after facing the horror he'd committed, in the murder-suicide discovered by council workers this morning.
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But his decision was calculated. After driving more than 50km to Coochin Creek, he drove through towering trees for a few minutes, before turning down a dirt road, driving 200m and turning the car around to face the main road.
The car wasn't completely out of sight, a move possibly made on purpose, or a mistake in his desperation to take the life of a baby away from his mother.
Either way, a mother is inconsolable after losing her child to the hand of someone she once loved.
Officer in charge of Sunshine Coast Crime Group, Detective Inspector David Drinnen said he didn't know how long they'd been dead, but the child was reported missing on Monday from Redcliffe.
His father failed to "turn up to custody arrangements" so the mother contacted Moreton Police. The child and his father were found dead two days later.
Despite being a "high-risk missing person investigation", an Amber Alert was not distributed.
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According to Queensland Police Service, an Amber Alert is broadcast to facilitate the search for, location and the safe recovery of an abducted child or high-risk missing child.
While the case was deemed of high importance, police said there wasn't enough evidence for an alert to be issued.
"When we have information around the imminent threat and harm to a child, that's when we raise the alert," Det Insp Drinnen said.
"These matters will be looked into."
Det Insp Drinnen said there was prior domestic violence instances reported between the man and woman, who were previously in a relationship. They had since separated.
The custody agreement of the child was unclear, but Det Insp Drinnen said the case shook those involved considering "domestic violence led to tragic death" of the child.
Women's Legal Service Queensland CEO Angela Lynch said it was a devastating outcome, possibly led by "power and control".
"The reality is that perpetrators use children as a means of furthering their abuse of the woman and the family," she said.
"Some violent men will make that ultimate decision... which is an extension of showing their control over the family for the rest of their life."
"This is a woman's ultimate fear and is why women come to legal services... they are fearful for the safety of their children, and this woman has to live with this forever."
Ms Lynch said while the investigation was ongoing, she believed Amber Alerts were a crucial tool to utilise.
The tragedy raised questions with her about "what is enough" for an Amber Alert and what thresholds need to be met to ensure the safety of a child.
"Amber Alerts put the community on notice instead of just authorities," she said.
"Sometimes there can be a tendency to down-play domestic violence perpetrators, so that raises the question whether enough was done.
"It may not have changed the situation (if the alert was issued)... but you just don't know."
The mother had been notified and was "distraught". Det Insp Drinnen was unsure whether they shared any other children.
"It's very distressing for family, first responders, those locating them and emergency crews," Det Insp Drinnen said.
The cause of death was being investigated, but Det Insp Drinnen said no weapons were found in the car.
Det Insp Drinnen would not disclose if the man left any written reason for his actions but said police were working through the scene and would provide later details on "what was on his mind".
Due to the horrific scene, police were providing services for their staff.
Sunshine Coast Council declined to comment on the services offered to their staff saying it was a "police matter".
Sunshine Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit were leading the investigation.
Police were not calling for any public information.
The victims had not been formally identified yesterday.