Mackay, Queensland baby’s death ‘suspicious’

Mystery surrounds the circumstances of a six-month-old boy’s death in north Queensland earlier this month, which police have announced they’re now treating as suspicious.

Beau Frank Bradshaw visited a beach in Mackay in the state’s north on the morning of June 2 and was healthy and well.

Just hours later, an ambulance was called to his family home where the infant was found unresponsive and in a critical condition.

Police are now trying to piece together what happened, in a tragic case that has rocked the small community.

“Most specifically, we’d like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Illawong Beach on the morning of the second of June between 9.30am and 11am,” Detective Acting Inspector Mick Searle said.

Speaking to reporters in Mackay this morning, Detective Acting Inspector Searle said paramedics were called to a Mackay East property on June 2 at 2pm.

Little Beau was rushed to Mackay Base Hospital and flown that night to Townsville for specialist treatment. According to media reports, he had bleeding on the brain and was declared brain dead, before dying on June 4.

More than two weeks on, police have commenced a criminal investigation and are treating the death as suspicious, Detective Acting Inspector Searle said.

“We do have information that young Beau was at the beach at that time and was quite well.”

Anyone with any information, no matter how small, is urged to contact Mackay Police – especially people with photos or videos taken in the area, he said.

What happened in the hours between the beach visit and the boy being found unresponsive remains unclear, he said.

“Any snippet or basic bit of information that people may think they have, it’s all important to us.

“We’ve had to conduct some very thorough inquiries to get to this stage and the family has had, obviously, a very hard period of grieving they’ve had to go through.”

He added: “There was no history between this family and the Department of Child Safety prior to Beau’s passing away.”

He confirmed that an autopsy has been conducted but wouldn’t comment on whether Beau had suffered any injuries or a suspected cause of death.

Earlier this month, Beau’s grandmother Joeleen Pershouse told The Daily Mercury newspaper that she received a distressed phone call from the child’s mother on the afternoon of June 2.

“My daughter rang up screaming and all I got out of her was ‘Beau, stopped breathing, and ambulance’,” Ms Pershouse told the newspaper.

“I just dropped everything and ran out the door and met the ambulance there.”

She said the family doesn’t know what happened to their “perfect little boy” that day and was devastated by rumours of foul play on their part.

“We are not sure on how or why. I wish people would not say it was child abuse because I have no doubt in my mind that my daughter and my son-in-law would not harm them,” Ms Pershouse said.

“They were just the most happy family and the most loving people.

“We were in total shock when it happened. I sit here and it boggles my mind. What could have happened? What may have happened? We just don’t know and it is not going to bring him back.”

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