Grief-stricken strangers have united to release butterflies and bubbles in a beautiful tribute to a four-year-old girl who was allegedly left to starve to death in her cot.
The body of Willow Dunn was devastatingly found in an ‘advanced state of decomposition’ when police entered the house in Brisbane, Australia.
Police said she had been partially eaten by rats and was lying in her own filth.
The child, who had Down syndrome, had a number of injuries, according to a post-mortem.
The little girl’s father Mark James Dunn, 43, and stepmother Shannon Leigh White, 43, have both been charged with her murder.
So distraught by Willow’s death, last Saturday strangers gathered to mourn her.
Butterflies, a symbol of Down syndrome awareness, were released at a public memorial in Brisbane’s Cannon Hill Park.
The heartfelt and emotional gathering was organised by T21 Mum Australia Network and Down Syndrome Queensland who shared poignant photos.
One caption read: “I was absolutely honored and happy to do this for beautiful little Willow. Fly high sweet angel and be comforted in your mum’s loving embrace for eternity.x”
One image from the memorial shows a table full of baby photos of Willow, candles and gorgeous flowers.
Four butterflies were released to honour Willow, while a fifth butterfly was released in honour of her biological mother who died after giving birth.
Children also blew bubbles.
One of the organisers Kathy Dillon told the Daily Mail: “Every child deserves love and support.
“I am happy now she is with her mummy, safe as she should be.”
Kellie Rainbow also told the gathered crowds the toddler’s death was a painful experience for so many.
She said: “The passing of Willow hurts so much because her life was short and her story incomplete.”
Meanwhile, as we previously reported, haunting photos show children’s toys and a pram abandoned outside the home where Willow’s body was found.
Dunn alleged he found his daughter face down in her cot. He was later arrested.
Heartbreaking pictures show the little girl’s teddy bear dressed in a Parramatta Eels rugby team jersey in the window of the home.
An abandoned pram was left outside the front lawn as forensic teams scoured the scene for more clues about her death.
A train set, teddy bears and a child’s pink play castle were among toys left by the roadside.
An investigation is underway to determine if Willow starved to death and was denied medication.
A post-mortem examination concluded Willow was experiencing “serious malnourishment” and other health issues “that indicated sustained mistreatment”.
It also alleged she had scalp burns and bone-deep infected hip sores.
Dunn was charged under a new definition of murder in Queensland aimed at child-killers, which includes “reckless indifference to human life”.
Two ambulances and multiple police cars were seen parked at the home following the discovery, with a crime scene established.
The following day investigators returned to further examine the home and gather forensic swabs, it is reported.
Pictures taken at the scene on show officials in hazmat suits taking forensic swabs and further examining the family home.
During a previous hearing at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, in which the accused was not present, the case was adjourned until July 20.