The sister of a four-year-old toddler who was allegedly left to starve to death in her cot has remembered her mother, who died after giving birth to the child, as a kind and caring woman.
‘She was a lovely mother, she loved us more than anything in this world,’ Emily Kipping said of her mother Naomi Dunn, according to The Australian.
Ms Dunn died in 2015 one week after giving birth to Willow due to blood clots, Ms Kipping said, never having had the chance to care for her baby.
A childhood friend of Ms Dunn also described her as a ‘beautiful’ person.
‘The last time I spoke to her on Messenger, she was happy. She just seemed to be still the happy girl that was my best friend many years ago.’ said Anita Thompson.
Naomi Dunn died a week after giving birth to Willow in 2015 and has been remembered as a kind and caring mother
Willow Dunn’s (pictured) body was found malnourished and decomposing in her bed at her home in Brisbane on Monday, with her face allegedly partially eaten by rats
Willow, who had Down’s Syndrome, was tragically found dead in a Cannon Hill, Brisbane house on Saturday where her father Mark Dunn lived with another of Ms Dunn’s childhood friends Shannon White.
Police have accused Mr Dunn, 43, of murder after Willow was allegedly left to starve to death and then her body left to decay in her cot in a shocking case of child neglect.
‘She [Naomi] would have been a great mum to Willow. I can’t believe it, that poor little baby girl,’ Ms Thomspon said on Thursday.
Naomi Dunn had been a mother to six children and a ‘nanna’ to two.
Detectives are now investigating aspects of Willow’s care such as who was watching over her, feeding her, and giving her medical attention.
Mr Dunn was living with Shannon White and her 19-year-old daughter Taliah White.
According to The Australian, Taliah had taken it upon herself to help with necessities such as bathing, feeding, and changing nappies but had stepped back for unknown reasons.
As details of Willow’s tragic family life slowly emerge, The Australian revealed her stepmum was very close friends with Willow’s biological mother.
Shannon White (pictured) is Willow’s stepmother and was best friends with Willow’s biological mother Naomi Dunn for 20 years before moving in with Mr Dunn after she died
In 2014 Ms White posted: ‘I still have my bestie from 19 years ago Naomi Kipping (Ms Dunn). She’s always been there for me no matter what.’
Ms White moved from South Australian to Queensland to move in with Mr Dunn not long after his wife’s death.
Daily Mail Australia understands Willow was sent to live with an aunt and uncle after her mother’s death, but returned to live with Mr Dunn about a year later.
Detectives are investigating whether Willow spent the entirety of her four years on earth in squalor without adequate food or care.
She was allegedly badly malnourished, and had bone-deep sores on her hips when she was found.
A Facebook post from Ms White in 2014 claimed Ms Dunn was her best friend of 19 years (pictured)
Willow’s father Mark James Dunn (pictured) has been charged with her murder after allegedly leaving her body for two days after finding her dead
Police clear out the site in Cannon Hill (pictured) where Willow was allegedly found with her face eaten by rats
Willow was not Down syndrome registered with the NDIS, leading detectives to allege she was not receiving the care she needed.
Locals said they had not seen Willow for two weeks before her death and that she had been seen looking unwell in the weeks prior, The Courier Mail reported.
Queensland Child Safety Minister Di Farmer refused to comment on the department’s relationship with Willow’s family.
Naomi Dunn died on November 5, 2015 giving birth to her daughter Willow, devastating her family
Flowers and toys were spread outside the Cannon Hill home by well-wishers on Thursday (pictured)
Police are probing whether the toddler starved to death in her own bedroom at the Cannon Hill home (pictured)
A childhood friend of Ms Dunn, Anita Thompson, told The Australian her friend would be devastated to know of Willow’s fate.
‘She would have been a great mum to Willow,’ she said.
‘I can’t believe it, that poor little baby girl.’
Police are probing whether Willow starved to death and was being denied medication.
Shocked neighbours began arriving at the scene on Tuesday to lay flowers for the toddler, but many said they had never seen the little girl – despite the family moving in a year ago.
‘They’ve been there for that long and we didn’t know a little girl lived there,’ one neighbour said.
A teddy bear wearing a Parramatta Eels jersey is seen in the bedroom of the Cannon Hill home on Tuesday (pictured) just hours after little Willow was allegedly found in her cot
‘That’s the big take-home for me. I can’t believe it.’
Her father was charged under a new definition of murder in Queensland aimed at child-killers, which includes ‘reckless indifference to human life’.
The case was briefly mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, but Dunn did not appear in person, with the case adjourned until July 20.
A teddy bear, dressed in a Parramatta Eels jersey, was placed in the window of the family home on Tuesday, while a pram sat abandoned in the front garden.