The Age

Murder squad seeks mother of dead girl

By PADRAIC MURPHY, POLICE REPORTER
The Age (Melbourne)
August 30, 2001

Homicide squad detectives are searching for the mother of a six-year-old girl found dead in a Frankston flat on Tuesday evening.

Tori Lamers was found dead in the shower of her Corio Street home by police who broke in shortly after 9pm on Tuesday after being called by relatives.

It is believed relatives became concerned about Tori after her school phoned and told them of a prolonged absence.

Police said she had been dead for some days.

Tori and her mother, whose name has not been released, moved to the address almost two years ago.

"They were nice people. I know that (the mother) and her husband had separated some time ago and they'd been living there trying to get on their feet," said neighbor Cliff Corry.

"We'd often see Tori playing in the street. She was just like a normal girl, but perhaps a bit lonely. There aren't many other children in this area for her to play with. I was saying to my wife just the other day that Tori didn't seem to go to school much. It's just a tragedy."

Mr Corry said the family rarely had visitors, although Tori was visited by her father about once a fortnight. Mr Corry said he had not spoken to Tori's mother recently because she had seemed distant and withdrawn.

"I saw (her) a couple of weeks ago and she was wearing dark glasses. Sometimes she'd say hello, but on other days she seemed like she didn't recognise you," Mr Corry said.

Tori, who was in grade 1 at Overport Primary School, in Frankston, had not attended school in the past fortnight.

Her schoolmates were told of her death yesterday and have been offered counselling.

Police are concerned for the mother's welfare and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

An autopsy was conducted yesterday on the girl's body, but a cause of death was not established.

Copyright The Age Company Ltd 2001.