The Age

Just what happened to baby Tabitha?

By Padraic Murphy, Julie Szego
October 01 2002
The Age

For several terrifying days, 17-month-old Tabitha Cox is thought to have crawled and walked around the two-bedroom Housing Commission flat while her mother Joy lay dead on the living room floor.

Eventually the toddler, who had only recently begun to walk, died just metres from her mother, most likely from dehydration or starvation.

The bodies were found by Doncaster police last Thursday after a welfare organisation asked child-protection officers to check on the family, last seen by authorities on September 12.

The child had been dead for at least a week, said acting Superintendent Ray McLeod-Dryden, of Rosanna police.

"A post-mortem was conducted, which was inconclusive, but there were no suspicious circumstances," he said. "We have a mother and a baby, which appeared to be deceased for some period of time."

Copyright 2002 The Age Company Ltd.