A man has been arrested and later released after a two-month-old baby boy died in southern NSW as police investigate whether the death was due to injury or illness.
While the cause of death remains unclear, investigators are treating it with “a degree of suspicion”, Detective Inspector Bob Noble told AAP on Monday.
The baby was “seriously unwell” when emergency services were called to a home in Kooringal, near Wagga Wagga, about 5am.
Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was rushed to Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital but died a short time later.
A 32-year-old man, named in media reports as Andrew Crichton and believed to be the baby’s father, was arrested at the home.
Det Insp Noble said he was extremely distressed by the incident.
Neighbour Simone Gowland heard Mr Crichton screaming and crying as police arrived at the scene in the early hours of Monday morning.
“He just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’,” she told local newspaper the Daily Advertiser.
“He didn’t put up any fight – he just sobbed as police loaded him into the wagon.”
Mr Crichton was released later on Monday afternoon pending further inquiries.
Police will wait for a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of the baby’s death.
“It’s sort of unclear at this stage … we can’t definitively say whether it was caused by an illness or an injury,” Det Insp Noble said.
The baby’s mother is also assisting homicide detectives with the investigation. She and her extended family are receiving support.
The family is understood to have lived in the region for some time.
Officers who first attended the incident were understandably shaken by the tragedy, Det Insp Noble said.
“He’s such a tiny, young child and it does make it quite profoundly upsetting,” he said.
“If anyone in the community does have any more information, they should ring us here at the station immediately.”
A crime scene was set up around the home with detectives interviewing neighbours.