A GIRL of three found dead at a house in Birmingham may have suffered acid burns, it has emerged.
A murder inquiry was launched after police found the youngster when they were called to the terraced property in Milverton Road, Erdington, on Saturday evening.
A post-mortem examination failed to determine how the child died, but is understood to have revealed she had injuries consistent with being burned with acid.
A female neighbour, who didn’t want to named, said: “We’ve heard all sorts of awful things about what happened to the girl. It’s very upsetting because she was such a sweet little thing.
“I didn’t know them but she seemed very happy and so did the mother. I used to see them walking past and they would be talking and smiling like any normal family.”
West Midlands Police declined to comment on the acid claims due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.
But the Birmingham Mail revealed yesterday that a hazardous substance was discovered at the property when police found the girl’s body.
Firefighters were called in to make the area safe and, according to neighbours, it was 24 hours before officers were able to remove the child’s body from the house. Further tests are being carried out to see if the substance caused or contributed to the child’s death.
Sherry Carroll, who has lived on the road for a year, said: “I thought it was the murder of an adult until they brought out the body bag of the little girl.
“The mother didn’t speak to anybody, she just took the kids to school and never talked to anyone.”
Officers were last night continuing to question a woman in her 20s, believed to be the child’s mother.
They have until lunchtime today to decide whether to charge or release her.
Yesterday, two bunches of flowers were left outside the house. A note on one read: “Heaven was short of an angel. RIP, Dawn, Richard, Harry and Lucie.”
Neighbour Kevin Tyler, aged 29, said: “As I understand it, the child has consumed or inhaled some kind of corrosive substance. The police came round and were asking whether there were any chemicals or corrosive substances at the back of the house.”
Local woman Sharon McCourt added: “It’s so sad what’s happened, that a young life has gone.
“The couple who lived in the house looked like a respectable, nice couple. They have lived there for six months, but they keep themselves to themselves.”
Another neighbour, Richard Bartlett, aged 28, said: “If it was something simple like kitchen bleach, surely there wouldn’t have been so many police officers here. It’s so bizarre. I would see the little girl and her mother walking up the road almost every day as she took her home, presumably from nursery.”
West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Mark Payne said that detectives were working with forensic experts to establish exactly what happened to the tragic toddler.
“We’re working together with the community, who have been shocked and distressed by this death,” he added.